Raleigh-The N.C. Department of Transportation has awarded a $1.9 million contract for the realignment of Harnett Central Road at U.S.401 and the extension of Neil Smith Road in Harnett County to Highway Paving Co., LLC of Fayetteville.
The project will address safety concerns resulting from Norfolk Southern Rail Road scheduled closing of a private rail crossing.
The crossing to be closed, once the project is completed, is adjacent to U.S. 401, about 300 feet north of the Harnett Central Road crossing. The new crossing greatly improves safety and congestion by relocating the intersection of Harnett Central Road and U.S. 401 about 600 feet south of its current location.
Improvements will include:
Allowing closure of the private crossing and the existing Harnett Central crossing, creating a new upgraded, safer crossing for Harnett Central Road;
Relocating Harnett Central Road so that it no longer intersects U.S. 401 in a curve and will now intersect U.S. 401 in a straight section of roadway;
Adding turn lanes to U.S. 401 and Harnett Central Road at the new intersection; and
Upgrading the safety features of the railroad crossing to current standards.
The project can begin as early as Jan. 15, and is expected to be completed by Nov.15, 2015.
Because U.S. 401 is a busy commuter route, the contractor is not allowed to close or narrow a lane of traffic between 6-9 a.m. and 3-7 p.m., Monday through Friday.
This is one of seven road and bridge contracts worth $139.8 million recently awarded by NCDOT for projects across North Carolina. The contracts were awarded to the lowest bidders, as required by state law. The low bids received on the projects were about $7.9 million below NCDOT estimates.