Two projects around Chapel Hill are affecting traffic for local travelers after getting started on Wednesday.

Work by town contractors on the Homestead Road Connectivity Project began to build a sidewalk and mutli-modal options along the road between Seawell School Road and the Weaver Dairy Road extension. It’s the latest effort to improve pedestrian and bicycle connectivity in town, as the area does not have complete sidewalks on either side of the popular east-to-west road.

The project will unfold in four phases, with the first being for construction crews to move utilities along Homestead Road and begin preparing the south side of the road near Seawell School Road. The second phase will be working on the north side of Homestead from Merin Road to Weaver Dairy Extension, while the third phase is additional sidewalk construction, adding a turn lane on the south side, and extending the sidewalk from the existing path on the Carolina North greenway.

Chapel Hill said the final phase will be paving and adding lane markings, which will require temporary lane closures. The full project is expected to take about one year.

“You don’t know how excited I personally am about this,” Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger said during an interview Thursday with 97.9 The Hill. “I picked this item when I came into office [in the] first week, talked to the manager and said, ‘We passed the sidewalk bond, this is the first one that needs to happen because of the woman that was killed walking from the senior center back to her neighborhood. That’s just not okay.’ Unfortunately, it’s had so many hurdles because of all the different property owners, because of NCDOT, because because because… It’s taken us this long to get started.

“People are going to have a very safe and easy way to get from the [Seymour] Senior Center all the way to the high school, middle school, and elementary school,” she added. “We want that whole corridor to work, because people should be able to walk, bike, and ride to all those kinds of [locations], so we’re very excited about it.”

The local government said two-way traffic will be maintained during the project, but the town added that drivers should expect daily lane closures between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Flaggers will be on site controlling the flow of traffic. Click here for more information on the Homestead Road Connectivity Project.

Additionally, private contractors started work on Wednesday along South Columbia Street near Purefoy Road. The road work is related to a larger development project called the Columbia Street Annex at 1150 South Columbia Street.

The work required a lane and sidewalk shift during 9 a.m. through 4 p.m., and the Chapel Hill Transit stop at the work site will also shift to a temporary location. The Town of Chapel Hill is asking motorists to use caution and be mindful that bicyclists will merge with traffic at the work site.

The local government said the work on South Columbia Street is estimated to continue through September 8.


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