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Adding it up

A traffic study was conducted to assess the traffic impacts of a new Super Wal-Mart and Home Depot complex coming to West Waynesville.


Here are some of the key findings.

• There will be an extra 16,000 vehicles trips a day on the typical weekday. That actually means only 8,000 vehicles, but traffic engineers count them both going and coming for a total of 16,000.

• There will be an extra 21,000 vehicle trips a day on the typical Saturday.

• Currently, the section of South Main Street and Hyatt Creek Road sees a little more than 10,000 vehicle trips a day. Add the new traffic the development is expected to generate, and that could mean more than 30,000 vehicles a day on the typical Saturday.

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• To put the traffic counts in perspective: the main drag of Russ Avenue in Waynesville saw an average of 28,000 vehicle trips a day according to the last traffic counts in 2004. N.C. 107 in Sylva saw an average of 15,000 vehicles per day according to a traffic count last year.

• Predictions claim that 20 percent of the traffic will approach the complex from town along South Main Street, and the other 80 percent will come from U.S. 23-74. That prediction is merely a best guest by the traffic consultants hired to do the study.

“You basically have to make an educated guess to determine where the volume is going to come from,” said James Voso, a traffic engineer with the firm Mattern and Craig in Asheville hired to do the study. “As an engineer we are hired to make those assumptions.”

• The study predicts the traffic will be evenly split between two entrances to the complex. One entrance is on Hyatt Creek Road and one is on South Main Street. Even though 80 percent of traffic is expected to approach the complex from the Hyatt Creek side, the study predicts some drivers will bypass the Hyatt Creek entrance and come down South Main Street to enter. Reason being, the Home Depot is located on that side of the complex, so shoppers bound for Home Depot might opt to enter on that side rather than weave through the parking lot.

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