BEAUFORT – A multi-organizational project to overhaul and beautify Cedar Street in downtown Beaufort begins this week with an innovative way to capture storm runoff.
The N.C. Department of Transportation will construct what are known as bioretention bump-outs, which collect and filter storm runoff before the rainwater drains away to the estuary. A total of 14 such bump-outs will be constructed, consisting of concrete borders along the street and filled with landscaping that resemble planter boxes.
As part of this collaborative project, the town of Beaufort, thanks to a grant from the N.C. Division of Water Resources, will use permeable pavement to reconstruct the parking lanes along Cedar Street. The pervious surface will help reduce runoff and minimize pollutants from entering the estuary around Beaufort.
The NCDOT’s Hydraulics Unit worked with the town of Beaufort and Highway Division 2 to design the bioretention bump-outs as an effective, innovative way to improve the venerable route’s drainage system and protect the town’s waterways.
“The existing infrastructure and development along this road presented a challenge with building a traditional drainage system,” said Jeff Cabaniss, the Division 2 engineer based in Kinston. “This alternative system will be better for the environment and also contribute to the beautification of this historic town and improve its water quality.”
The project will culminate by an NCDOT contractor resurfacing and restriping 0.7 miles of Cedar Street from its dead end to Live Oak Road. All of the improvements are scheduled to be completed by this summer.
Starting this week, NCDOT crews will begin removing existing curb, asphalt and sidewalk at several intersections along Cedar Street. Additionally, some drainage lines will been placed underneath the roadway in the coming weeks.
The work will necessitate some lane closures under flagging operations directing traffic, and some brief road closures. The first such detour is scheduled to begin Jan. 17 at Cedar and Craven streets and last about two weeks.
Drivers should use caution when traveling through this corridor and expect occasional delays until the work is completed.