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Bladen County Getting New Roundabout

BLADENBORO – A highway crossroads will be reconstructed into a roundabout, thanks to a $1.9 million federal grant awarded this fall.

The money from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will make it possible for the N.C. Department of Transportation to improve the traffic flow and safety of N.C. 211 and N.C. 131 on the outskirts of Bladenboro.

NCDOT installed a traffic signal at this location long ago. Because this area is rural, drivers sometimes wait for a red light when there is no opposing traffic. 

“Based on the data we have today and the department's demonstrated success with roundabouts, drivers would be much better served going through a roundabout at this location," said Ken Clark, the department's District 3 engineer based in Whiteville.

Formally known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed in 2021, the law created the Carbon Reduction Program. The program funds projects that can decrease engine idling and travel delays and, thereby, lower carbon emissions.

Officials Seek Road Improvement

The Mid-Carolina Rural Planning Organization has endorsed this project, and Bladen County officials have asked NCDOT to improve the safety and efficiency of this intersection.

According to figures compiled by the department's Traffic Safety Unit, this intersection saw 15 crashes, injuring 15 people, over the past five years. Among the crashes, nine were the more serious frontal-impact type.

Although the project has not yet been designed, Clark said this roundabout would be similar to the single-lane roundabout that opened in 2020 in Dublin that is large enough to easily accommodate commercial trucks.

The department already has the necessary land for the Bladenboro roundabout, bringing down costs for it. The federal grant requires a 20% match from NCDOT funds, bringing the project cost to around $2.3 million.

The department is aiming to start construction in late 2025. 

To learn how to navigate circular intersections, and how they improve safety and traffic flow, visit the department's roundabout webpage.


12/4/2023 1:09 PM