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Roundabout for Walnut Street?

Roundabout for Walnut Street?

The obtuse angles of the intersection at Waynesville’s North Main and Walnut streets may soon become graceful curves — or even a roundabout — by 2020, depending on what happens with the now-underway public involvement phase of the project.

Officials from the North Carolina Department of Transportation were on hand at the HCC Regional Tech Center Nov. 9, armed with placards showing two options for the proposed realignment of U.S. 23 Business (North Main Street) and Vance Street at Walnut Street.

Both options would dramatically remake the intersection, plowing through a 1-acre parcel on the southwest corner of Walnut and Main owned by Clifford Gould LLC that was home to Duvall’s restaurant and also to an automotive repair shop, as well as a parcel on Vance just north of Walnut owned by William Norris that used to be a small self-storage facility.

The first and probably simplest option is to gently shift North Main Street westward, straightening out the odd alignment of streets in the area.

The second option is a bit more complex, and would place a roundabout right in the middle of the Gould parcel.

Right-of-way acquisition costs in either case are projected to be around $1.3 million, and will result in the relocation of four businesses and one residence.

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Construction of the roundabout option, however, would cost $2.25 million; the traditional intersection realignment would come in at about $1.6 million.

The public comment phase of the project ends Dec. 1, so there’s still time for the public to contact DOT officials. For more information including maps of the options and contact info for project partners, visit www.ncdot.gov/projects/publicmeetings and search for STIP project no. U-5888.

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