NC 24 widening brings progress with few headaches

There are many reasons to offer kudos to the North Carolina Department of Transportation for its recent work on the NC 24 four-laning project, not the least of which is the fact that the long-awaited widening is actually under way.

Given our long-held stance that legislative and DOT leadership had maintained a drag-your-feet attitude about initiating the project for nearly five decades, the steady work on Highway 24 of late has proven that which we thought would never happen is actually going to be a reality.

From the late 1960s until the final approving nod a couple years back, Sampson had always been left empty-handed when it came to the widening project that has been talked about for nearly five decades. Not so now, and we thank all those who are responsible for making it so.

Not only is the project moving forward, but it’s doing so in such a seamless manner that motorists should be pleased not only with the progress but with the unobtrusive way in which crews are handling the construction.

While no highway construction is without noise or delays, our hat is off to DOT crews for making work on NC 24 as unobtrusive as this kind of work can possibly be.

Much of the work is under way while most of Sampson County, and those traveling through it, are asleep, which means that traffic tie-ups are kept to a minimum. One cannot begin to understand just how valuable that is until they are tied up in one-lane of travel during a busy workday.

We credit those decisions to DOT officials and government leaders who, thankfully, saw the wisdom in treating one of Sampson’s busiest highways much like it would a far larger city, like Raleigh or Greenville. Because of that, the pain of waiting in traffic delays, dealing with closed lanes and tackling varying traffic patterns has been eased.

Wanting a four-laned NC 24 is one thing but dealing with the reality of getting it could have been a far different animal. While work is far from over, and while we are sure there will be longer traffic delays in Sampson’s future, we have to hand it to the DOT that, for now, at least, we are seeing progress without dealing with unbearable problems. And that is worth a lot no matter how long it lasts.

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