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Lane Closures; Charity Calendars; Roller Derby!

Watch out for lane closures on and near campus on Wednesday: one lane of Pittsboro Street will be closed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. near the intersection of S. Columbia Street and Manning Drive for waterline work, and the left lane of northbound S. Columbia Street will also be closed from 9 a.m. to noon for tree trimming. Town officials are warning drivers to be cautious in these areas.


Would you like to see roller derby in Chapel Hill? If so, there’s an interest meeting on Tuesday, November 5, at 6:30 p.m. in the Lincoln Gym on Merritt Mill Road. Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation is holding the meeting; they’re thinking about launching a city-sponsored women’s roller derby league, provided there’s enough interest.

The idea for the league came from Colleen Carroll, who moved to Chapel Hill earlier this year. She says as far as she knows, Chapel Hill would be the first town to sponsor its own roller derby league.


For the fourth straight year, Chapel Hill textile collage artist Elaine O’Neil will be selling limited-edition 2014 calendars featuring her original artwork to benefit the North Carolina Cancer Hospital.

They’re called the “Luv This Place 2014 N.C. Calendars,” highlighting twelve of North Carolina’s most famous and iconic places. You can purchase them through January at a variety of stores around town, including Flyleaf Books, Southern Season, and FRANK.

Elaine O’Neil is an award-winning collage artist. Since she started the calendar project, she’s raised $23,000 for the North Carolina Cancer Hospital.


How Does Construction Impact Your Driving And Walking In Carrboro?

CARRBORO – Carrboro Aldermen meet Tuesday to continue a discussion on how to regulate construction that impacts public streets and sidewalks.

The board is considering a requirement that some projects have a construction management plan endorsed by the town before development gets underway.

The plan would detail acceptable noise levels and hours of operation, as well as what streets construction vehicles should use and where equipment should be stored.

The board will also designate October as “Carrboro Walk and Bike to School Month.” The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. in Carrboro Town Hall.



S. Columbia Detour To End Soon; Hillsborough Bridges; Kings Highway Park Closed

ORANGE COUNTY – Your detour from southbound on South Coulumbia Street will soon come to an end.

Next Tuesday or Wednesday the sidewalk on S. Columbia will open to pedestrians again.  All summer traffic has been one-way, north bound, on S. Columbia, but this one-way traffic is set to end on August 13, and two-way traffic will resume again.

Construction crews report that the work on the road remains on schedule and is expected to be fully completed by July 2014.

The project on S. Columbia is meant to make the road safer for all who use it by adding bus pull outs, sidewalks to both sides, bike lanes, and improved traffic flow.


Work to preserve four bridges in Hillsborough may begin as early as August 1 and completion is expected by June 30 of next year.

The NCDOT awarded this contract to Seminole Equipment Inc. of Tarpon Florida along with four more in Alamance County.

The contract includes preservation of the Churton Street Bridge over the Eno River, N.C. 86 bridge over Interstate 85, and I-85 bridges over Orange Grove.

This project is part of NCDOT’s state-funded bridge plan for 2011-2013 which calls for preservation or rehabilitation of current bridges when possible.


Hillsborough has closed Kings Highway Park through the fall to dredge and make repairs to the dam at Lake Ben Johnston.

The work could last until November; during this time citizens are asked not to walk the trails or visit the park.


Road Construction Gaining Momentum

CHAPEL HILL – Construction on roads in Chapel Hill is picking up momentum after weeks of rain.

The three big projects are located at Smith Level Road, Weaver Dairy Road, and South Columbia Street. Resident engineer Chris Kirkman says a little extra work has gotten the projects going again.

“Yea it did slow it down, but in the last week–Columbia street for example–we were able to get a lot done, and get a lot done this week so we’re able to regain momentum,” Kirkman says. “They worked this past weekend Saturday and Sunday.”

Kirkman says he’s use to working against the weather to complete a project.  However, he says the rain this summer has been the biggest opponent while working on the roads.

“This year obviously, looking at the weather data that this has been unbelievable as far as rainfall the past June and July, fortunately we were able to regain a lot of momentum last week and this week,” Kirkman says

Although rain has slowed construction on the roads during summer, hurricanes could pose similar threats.  Kirkman says the construction teams are working to complete the roads by their estimated deadline.

“We would get the section between 86, or MLK, that end of it all the way down to the round about, hopefully that will be done by late August,” Kirkman says.

Kirkman says Smith Level is estimated to be completed in May 2015, and South Columbia will be completed around December 2014.


Culbreth Road Construction Sees Multiple Delays

CARRBORO – Construction on Culbreth Road has hit many delays this summer from soil problems and rain to asbestos water lines.  Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation, Bill Webster, says a meeting is scheduled later this week to share the progress of the project.

Construction on Culbreth road began June 8 and its planned completion was August 25.  Webster says several delays occurred during construction including: rain, an asbestos water pipe, and bad soil.

“The big one right now is we have a serious soil issue that we have to resolve, and as of today I’m not exactly sure how much time it’ll take to resolve it, but we’ll know more by the end of the week,” Webster says.

The soil problems that the construction team faces deal with poor soil found underneath Culbreth Road.  Poor soil is not uncommon in floodplain areas, but the construction crew did not expect to find so much poor soil that they would have to dig another six feet.

“But once the road was excavated we found out there actually large areas within the excavation zone which the soils were completely unacceptable,” says Webster.

The three areas in which the construction crew worried about having delays all occurred, but Webster says only more rain at a bad time could continue to cause delays.

The construction crew now has plans for dealing with the soil on Culbreth Road and if they encounter the same problem on the trails later this year, it will not cause as much delay.

“And if there is a problem we’ll immediately communicate it to the community and the schools and everyone else, but right now we’re just not certain,” Webster says.

For more information on the expansion of Fan Branch and Morgan trails, click here.


Flood Assessments; Construction on W. Main; Local Chef in Competition

CHAPEL HILL - Beginning Thursday, night work is scheduled to begin on the W. Main St. roadway resurfacing.  The project is anticipated to be completed by or before August 13.

Motorists should expect delays and seek alternative routes along W. Main St. and connecting roadways.  Construction on W. Main St. from Jones Ferry Rd. to Hillsborough will take place both night and day.  Construction from Hillsborough Rd. to NC 54 will only take place during the day.


Executive Chef at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant, James Clark, will compete in an “Iron-Chef” styled competition against Dean Thompson of Flights at The Renaissance (North Hills).  The competition will take place on July 15 at 1705 Prime located at 705 East Millbrook Road in Raleigh.  The competition uses a mixture of judges and votes from the audience to determine the winner.

Tickets for all first round battles are $59 per person.  To reserve tickets click here.  The winner of this single elimination contest will be announced on August 19.


UMall To Add TrySports This Fall

CHAPEL HILL – The landscape at University Mall is once again changing with the addition of TrySports this fall.

“It kind of follows suit with what our whole strategy is for the center, which is really bringing the best of class regional and local operators,” UMall’s General Manager, Peter DeLeon says. “TrySports is just like that.”

TrySports offers gear and advice for swimming, running, and biking. DeLeon says the company offers two main services called Perfect Fit and Perfect Ride to make sure your purchase is just right for you.

TrySports will be taking 11,000 square feet on the east end of the mall, and DeLeon says this addition continues a recent big push for the mall.

“We have Harris Teeter finishing up a multi-million dollar expansion that should be completed in October, which will make it one of its flagship model stores,” DeLeon says. “We’ve got the momenteum of getting Glee Kids, Cynthia’s Tailor Shop, (and) William Travis Jewelers. TrySports is just another example of having, another great operator in the center.”


NCDOT Awards Contract For I-40/440 Rebuilding

RALEIGH – Two firms have won contracts from the N.C. Department of Transportation to rebuild the southern portion of Interstate 40/440 around Raleigh.

The department announced Tuesday the team of Granite Construction Company and RS&H Architects-Engineers-Planners Inc. won contracts. NCDOT engineers estimated the project would cost $193,428,882. Granite/RS&H had the lowest bid of $130,129,000.

The project requires rebuilding 11.5 miles from west of Jones Franklin Road in Cary to north of U.S. 64/264 in Raleigh. The road is more than 30 years old, and is crumbling because of a chemical reaction between the rock and the cement.

Officials will work to leave three lanes open in each direction on the I-40 portion of the project, instead of two. That’s expected to greatly reduce traffic backups in and around the project area.


News Around Town: Great Art! Great Food! Sidewalk Construction!

CHAPEL HILL – In downtown Chapel Hill, construction began on Friday, April 12, to put in a new sidewalk on the east side of Henderson Street between Franklin and Rosemary. Traffic won’t be affected and businesses will remain open, but pedestrian access will be unavailable during construction.

The $57,000 project will run about three weeks; Town officials say it’ll be done in time for UNC’s commencement on May 12.


Another national honor for our local community: Livability.com has identified Chapel Hill as one of the “Top 10 Foodie Cities” in America. The website released its annual list earlier this month—making an effort to focus on smaller towns and avoid the usual suspects like New York, Chicago and New Orleans.

Chapel Hill came in seventh overall and third among Southern cities. Decatur, Georgia, topped the list.

Click here for the complete ranking of Livability’s “Top 10 Foodie Cities.”


Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools is wrapping up the Visions Art Show, its annual three-day showcase of art created by students and teachers in the district. This year’s show began on Monday and concludes on Wednesday at Lincoln Center, with student artwork filling display boards and display cases all over the building.

Wednesday’s show gets under way at 6 p.m., highlighting the artwork from students at Ephesus Elementary, Estes Hills Elementary, Rashkis Elementary, Phillips Middle and East Chapel Hill High. All of the artwork will remain on display until May.