WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Dozens of residents shared their opinion on the Business 40 project Tuesday night.
At the public meeting, two proposed plans for Business 40 were discussed. In one plan, the Cherry and Marshall streets exits would stay open and the Broad street ramp would be closed. In the other, the ramp for Liberty and Main streets would remain and the Cherry and Marshall streets exits would be done away with.
Several residents Tuesday night favored keeping the Cherry and Marshall streets exit open. Motorist say the exit is too short and confusing.
“A lot of times you have to brake really heard and the people behind you have, you know, no idea what you’re trying to do and you’re trying to let somebody get on in front of you,” said Patty Thornton, who takes the exit for work.
“I’ve seen wrecks over there before. The other day I almost got blindsided by a dump truck,” said Dylan Simpson, who drives Business 40 every day. “You [have to] go real slow, slow it down. It’s no good. It needs to be extended.”
With the $63.2 million project planned many residents spoke about upgrading the design to make the exits and bridge more aesthetically appealing.
“This is a once in a generation opportunity,” said Lee French with Creative Corridors. The group has worked for years with city officials on designs to improve the looks of the new Business 40. “Why not do something magnificent, why not do something extraordinary, why not say something about our community that you can only say with bridges and design and something that invokes the aspirations of this community and how it relates to our past.”
Also discussed Tuesday night is the NCDOT’s plan to claim about 30 pieces of property in some neighborhoods. The DOT has already begun purchasing properties in an area around Peters Creek Parkway. “I just moved over here, now they’re talking about tearing down my house,” said Shakira Johnson, who moved onto Apple Street three days ago. She says her and her husband have already received notices from the NCDOT.
“We have to re-pack our stuff that we just packed up and unpacked and find another location,” said Johnson.
Pat Ivey, of the NCDOT, says they will also discuss the possibility of sound barriers being put up along the parkway. The project is scheduled to start in May of 2016. The NCDOT will hold another public meeting Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Miller Recreation Center.
“I think it’s an improvement that needs to be done and needs to be done soon,” said Thornton.