Ephesus Church Road Closure Leads to Significant Detour in Chapel Hill Starting Nov. 1

North Carolina Department of Transportation officials will be closing part of Ephesus Church Road in November to address flooding issues – but the closure is frustrating nearby residents.

The closure will be near the intersection with Tinkerbell Road, close to Ephesus Elementary School.

Town public works director Lance Norris said the plan is to “replace an existing undersized and dilapidated pipe” to address “the flooding issues that have been occurring on Ephesus Church Road”.

But the plan was announced on short notice, and that’s frustrated both residents and officials.

Mayor Pam Hemminger said the work has been delayed in an effort to establish an alternate traffic plan.

“It’s great that they want to do it, but they didn’t give us a heads up and just closed the road down,” Hemminger said. “That’s not really going to work until we know how to detour. So we’ve delayed it just for a few days while we can get some detours.”

Town officials said they did not receive any prior notice regarding the DOT’s decision. Council Member Ed Harrrison said when he raised the issue in a meeting, he was told the DOT “assumed their staff had told the town”.

Hemminger said despite the short notice and the inconvenience, the work will take place.

“We’re working with [the DOT], there will be some rerouting, but its going to be inconvenient for a lot of people until about the end of December.”

With the slight delay, construction is now expected to begin on November 1and will last until December 22, weather permitting.


Construction Will Close Lane of I-40 in Orange County

A portion of I-40/I-85 will be closed in Orange County for maintenance work.

Officials with the state Department of Transportation say crews will be working to repair damaged shoulder and slope drains. That work will involve closing the right lane on I-40 East/I-85 North near Orange Grove Road.

The repairs will consist of replacing pipes and backfilling the shoulder of the thoroughfare.

The closure will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday and is only scheduled to take place during the daytime with closures scheduled from nine o’clock in the morning until four o’clock in the afternoon.


Portion Of Orange Grove Road To Temporarily Close

Engineers from the North Carolina Department of Transportation said the section of Orange Grove Road between N.C. Highway 54 and Teer Road will be temporarily closed.

Weather permitting, crews will be working to repair a deteriorating pipe under the road.

They will start their work on February 29 and expect to be finished on March 9.

Local traffic will be able to access homes and businesses from either end of Orange Grove Road but will not be able to pass beyond the closure points on either side of the work area.

Motorists traveling through the area will use Dairyland Road, Dodson’s Crossroads and N.C. 54 as the signed detour route.


NC House Defeats 75 mph Speed Limit Study

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A slowed-down effort to consider raising the maximum speed limit on some North Carolina highways to 75 mph has reached a stop sign at the legislature.

The House voted down a measure Thursday that would have directed the Department of Transportation to study raising the 70 mph speed limit on some interstates and other roads. DOT would then report to a legislative panel and propose a pilot for up to four roads. The full General Assembly would still have had to approve the pilot.

The bill failed 44-64 after several legislators were worried about safety and didn’t see a good reason to consider raising the limit.

The House last week derailed an earlier version of the Senate bill to give DOT the power for 75 mph roads without a study.


Detoured 75 mph NC Bill Revived As Study

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – An effort that was detoured in the House to raise the speed limit on some North Carolina roads to 75 mph may be restarted in the form of a study.

A divided House Transportation Committee voted Tuesday in favor of directing the Department of Transportation to study raising the current 70 mph maximum speed limit on some interstates and limited-access highways. The bill would direct DOT to develop a pilot for up to four roads but first report to a legislative oversight committee by January about their plans.

The Senate passed a bill giving DOT the green light to raise limits where it made sense. The bill returned to committee last week after several legislators opposed the idea in floor debate, worried it would lead to more traffic deaths.


NC House Panel OKs Possible 75 mph Speed Limits

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Some North Carolina House members have decided to move Senate legislation ahead that would allow speed limits on some state highways to race up to 75 mph.

A House committee voted Tuesday for the bill allowing the Department of Transportation to set speed limits higher than the current 70 mph cap for some interstates and other highways if traffic and engineering allows it. The bill doesn’t identify which roads could change, but committee members discussed rural stretches of Interstate 40 in eastern North Carolina as a possibility.

The bill already has passed the Senate and its next stop is the House floor.

The measure passed the committee despite some members saying they are worried higher speed limits will mean more highway accidents.