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.


Sage Road Adding Bike Lanes

Sage Road in Chapel Hill is adding bike lanes to both sides of its roadway from Erwin Road to Fordham Boulevard. The lanes are being added as part of a resurfacing and restriping project scheduled to continue through Nov. 10.

Sage Road as it exists. Photo Via Town of Chapel Hill

Sage Road as it exists. Photo Via Town of Chapel Hill

The project will change Sage to a three-lane road with one vehicular travel lane in each direction, a center turn lane and buffered bike lanes. There are already sidewalks on both sides of the road.

Traffic impacts are expected to be minimized during the project, with lane closures and traffic flaggers between 9:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M.

This project is part of the bigger Mobility and Connectivity plan that expands on the work of the Chapel Hill Bike Plan. It aims to improve walkability and pedestrian and bicycle connectivity.

How Sage Road will look with bike lanes on either side of the roadway. Photo via Town of Chapel Hill

How Sage Road will look with bike lanes on either side of the roadway. Photo via Town of Chapel Hill

The town is also targeting other streets for similar resurfacing projects: including Old Durham Road and Market Street in Southern Village. Improvements are expected to cost $684,000.


Accident Leaves Pedestrian In Critical Condition: CHPD

Chapel Hill police say a pedestrian is in critical condition after being hit by a truck on Thursday morning.

The full statement from Chapel Hill Police is below:

This morning, at approximately 6:02 AM, the Chapel Hill Police Department responded to a report of a traffic collision involving a box truck striking a pedestrian. The crash occurred on Old Durham Road north of East Lakeview Drive. The investigation by the Chapel Hill Police is on-going.

The pedestrian, whose name is being withheld, was transported to UNC Hospital Emergency Room in critical condition from injuries related to the crash.


Portion of Farrington Road in Chatham County Reopens After Chemical Spill

****UPDATE: The roadway has reopened shortly after 1:30 Tuesday afternoon.****

A chemical spill in Chatham County has closed a portion of Farrington Road.

Officials say Farrington Road between Martha’s Chapel Road and Farrington Mill Road will be closed for “several hours” Tuesday. The North Carolina Department of Transportation to clean up acid on the road, according to a release.

The closure is also impacting the intersection of Lystra Road and Jack Bennett Road.

Officials say it appears the acid fell off of an unknown vehicle earlier in the morning.


Cyclist Injured in Chapel Hill Hit and Run

Chapel Hill Police are asking the public for assistance in locating a suspect involved in a hit-and-run crash on Sunday.

Police say a bicyclist was traveling north on Hillsborough Street near Bolinwood Drive when the suspect tried to pass, striking the victim. Authorities say the suspect left the scene without stopping.

A witness told police the suspect vehicle was a light colored, small sport-utility vehicle. Officials say the suspect vehicle may have damage to the front right or right side of the vehicle.

The victim was transported to UNC Hospitals for treatment of their injuries.

If anyone has information about the incident, you are asked to call either the Chapel Hill Police Department at 919-968-2760 or Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515. Calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential and anonymous, and the caller may be eligible for a cash reward up to $2,000 for information that leads to arrest.


Chapel Hill Intersection Being Converted to All-Way Stop

The intersections of Dogwood Acres Drive at Northside Drive in Chapel Hill are being altered into permanent all-way stops on Tuesday, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Officials said the change was being made after town officials submitted a request and a DOT investigation found safety concerns.

“We investigated the three intersections and found that the sight distance was not sufficient along this portion of roadway,” said Division Seven Deputy Traffic Engineer Mark Aldridge.

Crews will be working to make the changes between nine o’clock Tuesday morning and five o’clock in the evening.

The DOT offers these reminders for drivers approaching the all-way stop.

  • The first vehicle to the intersection has the right of way ahead of any vehicle that has not yet arrived
  • When two or more vehicles reach an intersection at the same time, the vehicle to the right has the right of way
  • The vehicle with the right of way may move straight ahead or, if legal and after signaling, turn left or right
  • When two facing vehicles approach an intersection at the same time, both drivers can move straight ahead or turn right. If one driver is going straight while the other wants to turn left, the driver who wants to turn left must wait. The driver who is traveling straight ahead has the right of way; and
    Even with the right of way, remember to use the appropriate turn signals and be careful to avoid hitting other vehicles and pedestrians.

HWY 57 Reopens in Orange County After Wreck

***UPDATE: DOT maps show that the wreck has been cleared up and the road has reopened in both direction.***

Highway 57 is closed in both directions on Thursday due to a vehicle wreck in northern Orange County.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation tweeted that the wreck had closed the road near Kiger Road just before one o’clock Thursday afternoon.

Officials have not said how long they anticipate they expect the road to be closed.

There is no word on the severity of the wreck.


Expansion of OWASA Construction Hours May Impact Morning Commutes

Construction work will be closing through traffic on East Rosemary Street beginning Wednesday morning earlier than normally scheduled.

Officials with Orange Water and Sewer Authority say contractor work will begin at seven o’clock Wednesday morning and will run until five o’clock in the evening. That schedule will be replicated on Thursday.

The contractor will resume normal work hours on Friday with work occurring from nine o’clock in the morning until four in the afternoon.

The water line project may be completed in the spring of 2017, but weather and other factors may delay the work between now and then.

The project also included work on portions of Hillsborough and Henderson Streets to “maintain reliable water service including water for fire protection when needed,” according to a release.


One Southbound Lane of 15/501 Closed in Southern Chapel Hill

****UPDATE: DOT officials say that the northbound lane has reopened. The southbound center lane remains closed.***

A vehicle crash has closed multiple lanes of 15/501 in southern Chapel Hill Wednesday.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation tweeted that the accident occurred just after 2:45 Wednesday afternoon.

The DOT’s website shows that the southbound center lane is closed along with the right lane closed heading northbound.

The wreck immediately began causing traffic delays before the afternoon commute. Motorists should expect delays or avoid the area.

Shortly after three o’clock the delays were extending into Chatham County on the northbound side of the roadway.

We will update this post with any additional information.


Head-On Collision Leaves One Dead

Thursday night, a head-on collision on Raleigh Road near campus left one driver dead.

Chapel Hill Police say the accident took place around 9:39 pm near the intersection of Raleigh Road and Greenwood Road. One vehicle was apparently traveling west in the eastbound lane and ran into another.

One of the drivers was pronounced dead at UNC Hospitals; the other driver was treated for minor injuries at the scene and released.

Officials have not yet released the names of the individuals involved. The police investigation is ongoing; WCHL will provide additional information as we receive it.