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UNC Pembroke Gateway to Get Big Makeover and Road Diet

PEMBROKE – North Odum Street/Prospect Road – a major entrance for the UNC Pembroke campus in Robeson County – will be reconstructed to include bicycle lanes, two roundabouts and a landscaped median.

The innovative design will improve traffic and pedestrian safety by reducing the five-lane road into one lane in each direction and directing vehicles from the side streets to turn right. Motorists wanting to go in the opposite direction will make a U-turn or use a roundabout. Sidewalks, crosswalks and pedestrian signals will be added, too, making it safer for the many students who cross the road every day.

“This project will make the road much safer for pedestrians and bicyclists,” Janet Whetstone-Perez, the Sandhills regional traffic safety engineer for NCDOT. “People will have fewer lanes to cross, and the median will provide a refuge for pedestrians. The roundabouts also will improve traffic flow and safety.”

The N.C. Department of Transportation recently awarded a nearly $5 million contract to BMCO Construction Inc. of Lumberton to overhaul almost a mile of the campus route between West Third Street and just north of Cornith Street.

The improvements are in step with a departmental goal to promote multimodal uses of travel and find solutions to improve the safety of pedestrians and motorists alike. This short video shows how the new road will look and function.

Officials at the 6,300-student university in Robeson County are pleased the road improvements will coincide with their plans for campus growth. Coinciding with the DOT project, the university plans to construct a new School of Business building as well as renovate its campus entrance, both facing Prospect Road.

“We are grateful to state leaders and the Department of Transportation for this investment in UNC Pembroke and our community,” said Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings. “Most importantly, the project will improve safety, which is the university’s top priority. It will also enhance the first impression of our campus and accommodate growth that will result from UNCP’s inclusion in the NC Promise Tuition Plan.”

The contractor can begin work in April, the project is expected to be completed by fall 2019. Permanent vegetative work will be completed by spring 2020. During construction, motorist can expect occasional lane closures.

This five-lane campus route will be revamped.

Media Contact: Andrew Barksdale



7/10/2018 7:35 AM