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Despite rain, new road expansion is on track

By Hayli Fisher

Leicester – The area has seen a lot of rain over the past few months and some people are wondering if the precipitation has affected road expansion work for New Leicester Hwy.

The Tribune reached out to the NC Department of Transportation (DOT) about the matter and David Uchiyama, the Communications Officer for the Western Mountains Area, answered a few questions for us.

”The contract is on schedule, with a completion date of October 30, 2020. Recent rains have had little impact on the project schedule because historically, a significant amount of work is not accomplished during the winter months here in the mountains,” said Uchiyama. “In order to compensate, winter weather is factored into the time granted for a project to be completed,” explained Uchiyama. “The upcoming construction season will be a busy one on this project.”

After speaking to the engineer in charge of the project, Uchiyama said, “The final culvert has been completed, which allows the contractor to finish building the embankment, in the area known as the ‘Leicester Dip.’ Once the embankment is finished, the contractor will get to begin paving for the first few miles of the project. The contractor will also be able to finish the pipeline on the north end, opening up the rest of the project for paving operations.”

With the paving in effect, residents should be aware of any changes in traffic patterns in order to help improve traffic flow through the area. Uchiyama added, “Additional traffic control devices will be added to enhance safety. These include two new traffic signals, polymer, snow plowable pavement markers, and highly reflective pavement merging lines.”

With the addition of these signals, it will enhance safety for both New Leicester’s Newfound Road and Gilbert Road, which is at Leicester Elementary School.

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