CERRO GORDO – The intersection of U.S. 76 at N.C. 242 in Cerro Gordo will be converted into an all-way stop next week to improve safety.
The change is scheduled to be implemented beginning at 8 a.m. on Aug. 10, so drivers may encounter delays and brief lane closures. Motorists should be alert for workers while traveling through the area. The intersection conversion requires dry weather.
Drivers on U.S. 76 currently do not stop, while those on the state highway must stop. The intersection receives higher traffic volume during the beach season, and the N.C. Department of Transportation wants to reduce serious crashes primarily caused by drivers on N.C. 242 failing to yield after stopping.
The NCDOT recommended the all-way stop after studying the traffic impact for an expansion of the nearby Cerro Gordo Elementary School. The change was one of several departmental recommendations, which the town of Cerro Gordo approved last year in a concurring resolution.
The other improvements have been implemented, including:
- Lower the speed limit on U.S. 76 in town from 45 mph to 35 mph;
- Widen the travel lanes on Church, Powell, Railroad and Cherry streets in town;
- Realign the intersection of Church and Powell streets to allow for southbound motorists from Powell Street to move through onto Church Street without stopping.
As a reminder, drivers approaching an all-way stop should follow these rules:
- The first vehicle at the intersection has the right of way;
- When two or more vehicles reach an intersection at the same time, the vehicle to the right has the right of way and may go straight or, if legal and after signaling, turn left or right;
- When two facing vehicles approach an intersection simultaneously, both drivers can move straight ahead or turn right. If one driver is going straight while the other wants to turn left, the driver who wants to turn left must yield; and
- Even with the right of way, drivers should remember to use appropriate turn signals and watch for pedestrians and other vehicles.