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NCDOT Makes Traffic Improvements at PCC

WINTERVILLE—The N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is nearing completion of a project that will make it safer for Pitt Community College students and employees to cross Reedy Branch Road.

Work on the project began Dec. 17 and is expected to be completed before the start of the 2013 Spring Semester on Jan. 7.

In addition to a four-way stop sign at the intersection of Reedy Branch Road, Warren Drive and Tice Road, NCDOT has added a crosswalk to Reedy Branch near the Craig F. Goess Student Center, where the road meets Bulldog Run. At the same intersection, a concrete island has been added to Bulldog Run to prevent traffic from turning left across the new crosswalk.

Concrete islands have also been added to Tice Road and Warren Drive, where the roads intersect with Reedy Branch, and signs have been posted along Reedy Branch Road to alert motorists of the traffic changes.

"New buildings and increased enrollment have meant more people and vehicles on campus, and our highest priority is the health and safety of students and employees,” said PCC President G. Dennis Massey. “The Department of Transportation and the Town of Winterville have been very helpful in implementing changes that will allow campus and through traffic to be more alert to pedestrians and turning automobiles in relatively tight quarters.”

Massey added that “PCC remains the most crowded of all North Carolina community colleges.”

Within the past year, the PCC campus has greatly expanded west of Reedy Branch Road with the addition of a new Construction and Industrial Technology Building, Facilities Services Complex and the Charles E. Russell Building. The Ed and Joan Warren Building, which opened in 2000, and Minges-Overton Baseball Complex are also located on the western side of campus.

The traffic safety issues resulting from the growth led PCC administrators to ask NCDOT to look into the situation and suggest ways to make campus safer.

NCDOT representatives visited campus three times in October to conduct traffic counts and monitor pedestrian traffic at major intersections. Their findings resulted in the project scheduled to conclude this week.

In early 2012, PCC administrators asked NCDOT to lower the speed limit on the segment of Reedy Branch Road that runs through campus. That change—from 45 mph to 35 mph—was made in the summer.