Following complaints about ‘near misses’ between cars turning at a busy Clayton intersection, the NC Department of Transportation has ordered a contractor make immediate changes.
In December 2017, the NC DOT awarded a $6.6 million contract to repave US 70 Business through the town of Clayton. The project included improvements to medians and turn lanes.
Since improvements were made several weeks ago to the turn lanes at US 70 Business at Main and Champion Streets, motorists have been complaining about how close approaching cars come to one another when turning. Specifically, when cars turn from Main Street eastbound onto Highway 70 at the same time cars are turning from Champion Street westbound onto Highway 70.
Clayton Police Lt. John LeQuire said one sideswipe accident was reported recently at the intersection by vehicles making left turns. The accident caused less than $2,000 in damage between both vehicles. In the 12 months prior to repaving, no crashes of this type were reported.
On Friday, JoCoReport forwarded some of those complaints to the NC DOT. On Monday, Andrew Barksdale, Public Relations Officer, responded saying the problem is with “mini skips” which is an engineering term for the small white markings that guide traffic through a large intersection when turning. Barksdale said the contractor incorrectly painted the mini skips, which made the mini skips to guide traffic a little too close to the opposing traffic.
Barksdale said a DOT inspector was sent to the intersection on Monday and conducted an evaluation. Based on the evaluation, the DOT has ordered the contractor to redo the mini-skids from Champion Street turning west on US70 as soon as possible. The spokesperson hopes the work can be completed within a week. Once it is done, drivers should have a little more space between their vehicles and approaching cars turning in the opposite direction.
Photos by John Payne