Accident Closes 2 Lanes on 86 North of Weaver Dairy

A multi-car wreck involving an Orange Bus has closed two of the three lanes on Highway 86 heading north just past Weaver Dairy Road.

There is no word on the cause of the accident.

Emergency officials and tow trucks were on the scene attempting to clear the roadway just before 11 o’clock Wednesday morning.

There is no estimate yet on when the road will be completely reopened.

More information will be added to this story as it is made available

Leaking Water Pipe Closes Portion of Rosemary Street

****UPDATE: The road has been reopened and water services has been restored.****

A water leak has shut down a portion of Rosemary Street on Monday afternoon.

A release says a crew is working to repair a leaking water pipe on East Rosemary near Spring Lane, which has closed Rosemary Street in the area.

The water leak is about 60 feet west of where the contractor repaired a broken water pipe on April 12, according to officials.

The repair is expected to take several hours and OWASA has interrupted water service for customers along Spring Lane.

Tar Heel 10 Miler To Shut Down Roads In Chapel Hill

With an estimated 7,000 runners participating in the Tar Heel 10 Miler on Saturday, April 23, a number of roads across the town will be shut down.

Police officers will be posted to guide people to their destination safely.

The closures will be:

Raleigh Road 6-10 a.m.

Franklin Street 7:15-9 a.m.

Franklin St. will be closed between Estes Dr. and Merritt Mill Rd. Only local through traffic will be allowed for residents living between Estes Drive and Park Place.

Historic Rosemary 7:30-8:15 a.m.

The following roads will be closed within the Historic Rosemary neighborhood. Should you wish to exit, please do so by 7:30 a.m.

  • Hillsborough Street from Franklin to North streets
  • North Street from Hillsborough to Boundary streets
  • Boundary Street from North to Franklin streets
  • East Rosemary Street from Hillsborough to Boundary streets

Battle Park 7:30-8:45 a.m.

Gimghoul Road 7:30-9:30 a.m.

Greenwood Road 8:15-9:20 a.m.

Laurel Hill 8:30-10 a.m.

All other roads along the course will be closed and then reopened on a rolling basis as the runners pass by the various areas on the course.

Police and course monitors will be positioned at each intersection on the course. Vehicles will not be allowed on the course once that section of roadway has been closed.

The roadways will clear and normal traffic is expected to resume by 10 a.m.

Water Main Break Forces Road Closure in Downtown Chapel Hill

A portion of East Rosemary Street is closed early Tuesday morning due to a water main break, according to town officials.

A release says East Rosemary is closed between Henderson and Hillsborough Streets.

There is no word on the cause of the break or a timeline for when it will be repaired and the road allowed to be reopened.

An informational release from OWASA says that 50 houses are without water due to the repairs.

OWASA officials say the repairs are expected to take eight to 12 hours. Customers whose water service is interrupted are welcome to call OWASA at (919) 537-4292 to get bottled water.

Widen Chapel Hill Roads

When Betsy and I left a medical office appointment in Cary recently, we found ourselves heading home on I-40 just after 4 o’clock on Friday afternoon.

This is a punishment that only a mean spirited judge would use as a sentence.  It did take time, but eventually we made it back to Chapel Hill safely and stopped at the K&W Cafeteria for something to eat.

That put us on Estes Drive between 5 and 6 PM heading west.  That was an adventure.

You may wonder why in Chapel Hill, where we have essentially three main options for traveling east and west, the most the central one of these has two lanes, one in each direction, through its busiest stretches.

In this town, we can mow down trees, we can scar our once beautiful landscape, we can build ugly tall structures.  But, we can’t manage to widen our most needed traffic ways.

We do beautify them, though.  Weaver Dairy Road now looks prettier than it once did.  It actually widens to four lanes for a short stretch.  South Columbia Street now looks prettier, too.  It remains two lanes.  Why?

But, I digress.

In our trip across Estes Drive, our line of cars waiting for the light at East Franklin was backed up to Willow Drive.  After several light changes, we finally made it across East Franklin and inched our way up the hill towards Estes Hills and Phillips schools.  Once that far, we could see the endless string of taillights all of the way to MLK Blvd.

Widening roads to four lanes isn’t simple.  It’s expensive and complicated by issues of right-of-way acquisition and so on.  But, it’s necessary  if we are to continue to grow.

Many of our Chapel Hill local leaders like to see the town grow.  We love to mow things down and build big, ugly buildings.  What we haven’t figured out, is that with all that growth comes traffic and it needs to get from one place to another.

When one of our most important main streets becomes a parking lot twice a day, we need to widen it and soon.

— Raleigh Mann

Fiber Installation Causing Lane Closures

Fiber installation will cause lane closures around Chapel Hill this week.

One lane on North Estes Drive near the intersection of Caswell Road will be closed between nine o’clock in the morning and four in the afternoon through Wednesday, weather permitting.

Through traffic will still be allowed, but flaggers will be directing traffic and drivers should expect delays.

Officials say crews have been encouraged to reopen all lanes on Estes by two o’clock in the afternoon to permit normal school traffic.

Lane reductions will continue through the week on NC Highway 54 near the Friday Center. That work will also be done during the day, weather permitting.

Water was shut off to several locations, including a school, when crews installing fiber damaged a water line last week.

OWASA Work Closes Portion of MLK Blvd

Portions of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard will be closed during the day on Wednesday due to OWASA repairs.

Officials say the outer northbound lane, center turn lane and inner southbound lane will be closed from nine o’clock Wednesday morning until four o’clock in the afternoon due to work on the water system.

The closure will occur south of Hillsborough Street and Umstead Drive.

One lane in each direction will remain open during the repairs, according to a release.

Chapel Hill Transit says this work will force the closure of the bus stop near the Root Cellar Café. Residents using that bus are asked to use a temporary bus stop that will be located near the Bolin Creek Trail entrance on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Durham Police Investigating Fatal Accident

Durham Police are investigating a fatal accident that shut down a portion of N.C. 54 Monday.

Police say a passing motorist saw a car partially submerged in a swamp around 7:15 Monday morning.

Officers responded and found an overturned Honda Accord in the swampy area between Garret Road and Parkridge Road.

Authorities found 25-year-old Nelson Corea, of Durham, near the vehicle, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators say it appears Corea was ejected from the vehicle after running off the road while driving west on 54. Corea apparently struck a guardrail and overturned. He was not wearing a seatbelt, according to police.

Investigators believe the accident happened after 12:30 Monday morning.

No further information is available at this time.

Public Meetings for New, Faster Bus Line

Chapel Hill Transit is in the final stages of planning a new bus line and is looking for public input.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Chapel Hill Transit will hold three public meetings to discuss the North – South Corridor Study. The purpose of the study was to find a way to improve transportation from the Eubanks Road Park and Ride Lot to Southern Village.

The answer is a new, roughly seven-mile, Bus Rapid Transit line that would travel down Martin Luther King Boulevard towards 15-501 South in dedicated lanes. Developing a Bus Rapid Transit line could involve creating special bus lanes, building enclosed stations for easier boarding and giving buses priority at intersections.

The benefits, according to Chapel Hill Transit, include faster and more reliable commutes, reduced traffic gridlock and safer roadways due to fewer vehicles.

Chapel Hill Transit has been working with the towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro and UNC on the project since 2014. Once a specific route is decided, Chapel Hill Transit will present the final plans to the Town Council for adoption.

The public is welcome to attend the meetings to speak with project staff and to learn more about the project.

• Jan. 20 – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. — NC Children’s Hospital stage area, 101 Manning Drive, Chapel Hill
• Jan. 20 – 4 to 6 p.m. — Southern Village, 410 Market Street Lobby(next to Rasa Malaysia), Chapel Hill
• Jan. 21 – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. — UNC Carolina Union, West Lounge, 3103 South Rd, Chapel Hill

Durham Roadway Shut Down After Vehicle Strikes Power Poles

Old Oxford Highway in Durham is shut down between Hamlin Road and Hebron Road after a Wednesday morning accident.

Durham Police say a vehicle hit three power poles and knocked the lines to the ground.

The diver was taken to the hospital after suffering injuries that do not appear to be life-threatening, according to law enforcement.

Authorities say the road may be shut down for several hours. Motorists are advised to avoid the area.