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When will the left turn arrow be turned back on at Market and Third streets?

Ken Little
Third Street construction

Work on Third Street in downtown Wilmington is expected to be complete by April 2012. (StarNews file photo)

Reader Tom’s full question:

“What is the deal with the traffic light at Market and Third streets? There used to be a turn arrow for motorists that were heading west on Market Street and were wanting to turn south onto Third Street. The turn signal was turned off when the road work commenced on Third Street, but it has never been turned back on and the work in the immediate area of the intersection seems to have been completed. Will it ever be turned on again? I make this turn several times a day and all too many times have sat through multiple cycles of the light before being able to make that turn with traffic on Market Street backing up past Fourth Street. This can’t safe, wise and/or efficient as this is forcing traffic to reroute itself through the smaller downtown neighborhood streets, around Fourth and Market, where several churches and schools reside.”

And the answer:

The left turn arrow at Market and Third streets was deactivated several weeks ago to minimize traffic from backing up on Third while work continues on the North Third Street Improvement Project, city of Wilmington spokeswoman Malissa Talbert said.

“Reactivation of the arrow without additional turn lanes on Third would increase congestion on both Third and Market streets,” Talbert said.

The portion of the improvement project extending from Grace to Market streets is scheduled to be fully open to traffic by Azalea Festival in April 2012, she said.

“Until then, it is suggested that vehicles destined for Third at Wooster/Dawson streets reroute to 16th Street until the turn lanes on Third Street are reopened. The city appreciates the patience and cooperation of citizens while work on this important project continues,” Talbert said.

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