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Why did the NCDOT redesign the merging lanes at N.C. 421 and U.S. 17 south of the Thomas Rhodes bridge?

Ken Little

The change was made for a number of reasons,  says Benjamin T. Hughes, assistant division traffic engineer with the N.C. Department of Transportation.

“Previously, traffic traveling toward Leland utilized the left lane because this was the preferable lane to be in so that you didn’t need to merge. The overhead signs did not reflect this accurately and they do now with this change,” Hughes says.

Hughes adds that with the recent change, the right lane is now the preferable lane to travel toward Leland, “which in turn opens up the left lane to allow traffic going towards Wilmington to pass by the backup and remove themselves from the traffic queue.”

Prior to the change, Hughes says, “We had the less safe condition of merging traffic through the long curve at high speeds. Now this condition does not exist with no merge and one lane of traffic.”

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2 Responses to “ Why did the NCDOT redesign the merging lanes at N.C. 421 and U.S. 17 south of the Thomas Rhodes bridge?”

  1. On September 9, 2010 at 9:59 am Bruswick Co Resident wrote:

    As a resident of Brunswick Co that works in Wilmington let me just say that although this traffic pattern should free up the left lane for people traveling to the memorial bridge, but about all I can see that it done is allow impatient folks going to Brunswick Co the opportunity to cut people traveling in the right lane off and create more of a traffice jam for those of us that have followed the traffice pattern and sat in the right lane forever because of those that won’t. On top of that add beach traffic traveling to Brunswick Co beach or to Myrtle Beach and on any given Friday during beach season it can take as much as an hour or more to get home from work. There must be a better way!

  2. On September 12, 2010 at 12:04 pm Megs Dad wrote:

    What is needed is another lane on the causeway between there and Leland and to put the road back to the way it was ! Two lanes! How many thousands of dollars has the DOT spent on little white poles and moving the traffic lines around? I guess the DOT is trying to improve our lives by giving us the time to enjoy nature as we sit in traffic with our blood pressure going up.

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