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Are there plans to build a pedestrian crosswalk over Carolina Beach Road near Walmart?

Ken Little
StarNews
After several incidents of pedestrians being struck by cars crossing Carolina Beach Road near Antoinette Drive, officials are looking at ways to make the stretch of road safer, including possibly installing a crosswalk. Photo by Si Cantwell

After several incidents of pedestrians being struck by cars crossing Carolina Beach Road near Antoinette Drive, officials are looking at ways to make the stretch of road safer, including possibly installing a crosswalk. Photo by Si Cantwell

NOTE: This answer has been expanded with additional information since it was first posted.

Q. Will a pedestrian crosswalk ever be put on Carolina Beach Road near the Monkey Junction Walmart? People cross from the trailer home park and I am worried that someone will be hit.

A. Matthew Carlisle, N.C. Department of Transportation regional traffic safety engineer, said the DOT is currently working with its Division 3 staff, the city of Wilmington, the Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and New Hanover County to develop a safety project in the area of Carolina Beach Road between Silver Lake Road and Monkey Junction.

“This project is geared towards improving pedestrian safety in this area and will likely include, among other improvements, crosswalks across Carolina Beach Road,” Carlisle said.

The project is still in the developmental stages and all details connected to it have not been finalized.

Plans are for the project scope to be finalized and ready to submit for safety funds in May, Carlisle said.

If the work is funded using state funds, it would come out of the Spot Safety pot of money, which is administered through the Transportation Mobility and Safety Division of NCDOT.

If federal money is used for the work, the project would still be managed through the Transportation Mobility and Safety Division, Carlisle said.

A selection committee meeting typically occurs one to two weeks after the submittal, “so that’s when it would hopefully be selected for funding,” Carlisle said.

“At that point, the timeline depends largely on whether it’s funded with state dollars or federal dollars. That decision is primarily based on the cost of the project but since the scope isn’t yet confirmed and we have no cost estimates, I couldn’t guess whether it will be state or federal funds,” he said.

Submitting an application seeking funding does not guarantee it will be funded, Carlisle said.

He said projects are ranked and selected based on many factors, including a benefit/cost ratio, total cost, and crash severity index.

“This project would be competing with dozens of other projects submitted in May that all compete for the same pot of funds,” Carlisle said.

It’s not “realistic” to expect any safety improvements will be in place this year, Carlisle said.

“I say that because we can’t submit the project until May. Then if it’s selected for funding, it takes one to three months — depending on the funding source — to get all of the money set up and in place for the project,” Carlisle said.

Once a project is funded, he said the Division 3 Design and Construction unit is in charge of the project schedule, design, and letting date.

“However, they have dozens of other projects that are already funded and in design with let dates that have to be met that would be in front of this project,” Carlisle said.

New Hanover County’s long-range planner, Karyn Crichton, said during an area transportation meeting last June that officials need to investigate what can be done to improve the roadway at Antoinette Drive.

“It’s a very dangerous crossing,” she told the StarNews then.

RELATED LINKS:

StarNews: Dangerous Carolina Beach Road crossing sparks safety initiative

Where is the best pedestrian crosswalk for crossing Oleander Drive near Hugh MacRae Park?

 

User-contributed question by:
Pam Jorgenson

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