Prospect Road will get a new makeover as the Pembroke City Council and Department of Transportation approved plans to renovate the road.
The DOT improvement project has been in progress for approximately one year as the $2.8 million dollar renovations are expected to “include a roundabout and sidewalks by early as 2018,” a city council meeting transcript stated.
The road construction will take Prospect road down to a two-lane street with two roundabouts, one in front of GPAC with the other near the varsity soccer field.
The new road will also introduce a bike lane on both sides of the street, as well as left turning lanes within the median.
The road has very heavy traffic around noon, at rush hour class time, which has caused some concerns over pedestrian accidents.
According to documents obtained from the DOT, “the purpose of this project is to improve the safety of motorists and pedestrians using the project corridor. The UNC Pembroke campus generates a high volume of pedestrians that travel along and across the corridor. Medians and two roundabouts will be constructed in order to reduce the number of vehicular crashes and potential for pedestrians to get injured.”
“It’s all about pedestrian safety. This median really gives them a safe haven, now it’s narrower to keep the pedestrians safe and get them to that safe haven quicker,” Project Engineer Sean Matuszewski said.
The $2.8 million that will go into the project will be awarded to a contractor in December.
According to Project Manager Scott Pridgen, the DOT will bid off a price and whichever contractor picks up the bid will begin construction early next year.
The contractor is set to be announced Dec. 20.
“The Department of Transportation has been working very closely with a couple of folks from UNCP,” Pridgen said. “Keeping UNCP involved for a sort of [consistency and unification] has been a goal.”
UNCP’s Division of Information and Technology, Student Affairs and Safety and Facilities Planning and
Construction are all working closely with the Department of Transportation on the project.
Construction is set to begin in February of 2018 and end as late as October 2018, according to Jodi Phelps, executive director of the Communications and Marketing department.
Road renovations are meant to “provide unification and aesthetic as well as greatly reduce the speed of the road,” Phelps said.
However, the impacts that the 16-to-18 month process will have on the students of the school are still unknown.
Many students rely heavily on Prospect road to get to and from classes. For example, students who drive between the Oxendine building and the Sampson building travel through Prospect Road.
Also, many students that live in “The View,” located across the street from GPAC, rely on that road as their only entrance and exit to their housing.