The Board of Commissioners recently approved a resolution requesting that NCDOT include beneficial traffic improvements at the 4 signalized intersections on NC 58 in the new 2020-2029 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). The resolution seeks NCDOT funding and construction of beneficial improvements that will improve traffic flow at the Coast Guard Road, Loon Drive (Emerald Plantation), Mangrove Drive (CVS), and Bogue Inlet Drive intersections. If these projects are included in the new STIP, NCDOT will conduct further analysis and solicit public input before determining the specific improvements at each location in the coming years. Potential improvements may ultimately include traffic signal improvements, additional turn lanes, additional through lanes, roundabout(s), and/or other beneficial improvements. The Town's resolution also requests that NCDOT consider an elevated interchange at the NC 58 / NC 24 intersection on the mainland.
The Town occasionally receives concerns about peak season traffic congestion along NC 58, and has worked cooperatively with NCDOT over the years to make incremental improvements in the traffic flow. It is important to note that the majority of people in Emerald Isle are opposed to the widening of NC 58 and the bridge because they believe it would dramatically change the character and small-town atmosphere that is so valued in Emerald Isle, and that it would also create a barrier between the oceanside and the soundside. The Town's official policies reflect this concern, and therefore it is only possible to pursue smaller, incremental improvements (such as those described above) to improve traffic flow in Emerald Isle during peak periods. It is also important to note that inclusion in the STIP is critical, as this is the vital first step in addressing traffic concerns at these locations. If these projects are not included in the STIP for further analysis and evaluation, it is likely that no improvements would ever occur at these locations.
For a full discussion of this issue and the Town's formal request, please visit https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/Memo-06-12-2018-Item-13 .
Friday, June 29, 2018 5:00:00 PM