Sampson Independent

Path to new NC 24 far too bumpy

When it comes to four-laning work along N.C. 24 in Sampson County, the state Department of Transportation seems to be going from bad to far worse.

We’re already disgusted with the poor way they handled a situation with Immanuel Baptist Church, making promises we believe they have not kept, as well as the foot-dragging their contractors have done when it comes to making real progress on the four-lane efforts on Sunset Avenue. Businesses along that stretch of roadway continue to lose patrons because of the frustrations drivers must endure to get from Point A to Point B. And many, because of those continued frustrations, are becoming more and more reckless as they attempt to dodge barrels and cones, and get to their destination on time.

As we have said countless times during this never-ending construction process, we do not blame our local DOT personnel. The men and women who work locally do the best they can every day. They should not be strapped with blame for the gnarled traffic, the one-lane roads, the haphazard lane paving and the extended deadlines that continue to be stretched out, months at the time.

Those delays continue, with a now early 2019 completion date that we are certain is by no means carved in stone.

Those issues are enough to draw ire, but there’s more reason to give a thumbs down to DOT than what’s going on in Clinton.

Drive down the new — and admittedly very nice — four-laned section of N.C. 24 toward Roseboro and it’s pretty easy to find other reasons to be aggravated, especially if you a part of the western Sampson town of Roseboro.

Short of a portable electronic sign on the side of the road just a few hundred feet from where one now has to get off the highway to get to the quaint Sampson town, there is little signage directing travelers to their westerly destinations in Sampson County.

On/off ramps are usable, but who would know it if a motorists didn’t simply follow another car heading up it to test the waters. And old N.C. 24 has detours but the lack of signage doesn’t really tell an unfamiliar traveler where exactly, for example, Dunn Road takes them.

There aren’t any noticeable signs showing a motorist this way to N.C. 24 or that way to Autryville.

Why remains the questions of the day?

DOT needs to up its game, starting with fulfilling obligations we believe they have to Immanuel Baptist Church and its congregation and continuing with better directional help and finally with finishing this long-awaited four-laning.

We believe the road will be nice and can have a profound impact on the growth of Sampson over time, but the path to get there is far bumpier than it needs to be.