A year from now, motorists driving on U.S. 701 in southern and central Sampson and a segment of U.S. 13 in the northern part of the county will have a smoother ride as part of a $14 million resurfacing endeavor.
City of Clinton engineer Russell Byrd alluded to the “significant resurfacing” project during a recent City Council meeting and N.C. Department of Transportation officials confirmed this week that the roadways will begin to receive attention at the beginning of 2018, notably through the repair of concrete joints. That prep work will be followed by milling and resurfacing in the spring and summer months, according to DOT officials in charge of the project.
The contract was recently let to Barnhill Contracting Company, which will be handling the work. In all, the $14.2 million project totals approximately 28 miles on U.S. 701 and U.S. 13 in Sampson. There is no expense to the city or county, with funds coming from the state.
The project area on U.S. 701 includes two different segments totaling about 19 miles, the first extending from 7th Street in Garland to the U.S. 701/421 Bypass, a 13.2-mile stretch; and the other including U.S. 701 Business through Clinton extending north to Hobbton Highway, a 5.7-mile stretch.
Byrd noted that the work will not be as in-depth as the work on N.C. 24, as it does not include the building of new lanes, drainage work or utility relocation, however motorists will feel an impact as it the work is more than just a “simple overlay.”
“It will be a significant impact on citizens in that area,” said Byrd. “It is a major project. It will be a process, but I know they will be doing what they can to minimize that impact and maintain traffic operations.”
On U.S. 13, the segment that will be resurfaced extends from U.S. 421 at Spivey’s Corner to the Cumberland County line, a 9.3-mile section.
DOT resident engineer Lydia McKeel said Barnhill has informed state officials that the winter months will be spent repairing concrete joints in the pavement. In the spring and into the summer, Barnhill crews will be milling about an inch and a half of pavement and the resurfacing will add about 3 inches of asphalt.
“They will do them concurrently,” McKeel said of the work on the U.S. 13 and U.S. 701 segment, noting that once a particular section is milled it will be resurfaced in short order.
She concurred with Byrd that the goal is to have minimal impact to the traveling public and residents in the area. No more than one lane at a time will be closed, meaning the roadway stays open throughout the project. In the contract with Barnhill, it states that the contractor will also not be closing any roads during the morning commute, identified as the window between 6 and 8 a.m.
While it was not immediately known when the last time the major thoroughfares were the site of this kind of costly resurfacing endeavor, McKeel said such projects are examined, and ultimately chosen, using a variety of different criteria. Based on funds available, pavement condition and the amount of traffic, the roadways in Sampson were picked.
“We get allocations yearly for resurfacing for primary and secondary roads,” she said. “We gather data that includes our state allocation, the results of our biannual pavement condition survey and traffic volume. The division looks at those needs and tries to balance (those funds) between counties.”
She said the contract with Barnhill cites Nov. 30, 2018 as the completion date for the project.
Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.