It has been nearly five years since Old Folkstone Road in Sneads Ferry has had improvements.
North Carolina Department of Transportation recently announced a six-month project, which got underway this week, to improve the shoulders on both sides as well as improve drainage and ditches along a four-mile stretch between Sneads Ferry Road and N.C. 210. Work will be done 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays through June 30. One lane of the road will be closed during this time.
According to Project Engineer Ben Meyer, Old Folkstone Road hasn’t had a facelift in about five years; and with a recent uptick in development in the area, the work is needed to accommodate increased traffic and improve safety.
“The project is broken up into multiple sections,” Meyer said. “The contractor is able to do a single lane closure in the areas where active work is occurring.”
In many areas of the stretch between N.C. 210 and Sneads Ferry Road the white boundary line of the road blurs into ditches and yards, leaving no shoulder for motorists.
Chadwick Shores resident Anna Allen said the additional shoulder space will give her piece of mind.
“A lot of the time people drive left of center on that road because they are driving too fast, and there is no shoulder to avoid them,” she said.
Allen said the project is needed and will improve the road but could cause some problems in terms of traffic congestion, especially with the busy season approaching toward the end of the project.
With a large number of rentals in her neighborhood, traffic increases in the summer months, she said.
However, to lessen the impact, the project is going to be broken up into sections only requiring single lane closures of portions of Old Folkstone at a time, Meyer said.
“It is really awesome that they are going to be able to do it only part of the time because it will be a huge inconvenience,” Allen said.
Old Folkstone Road is home to not only newer housing developments like Mimosa Bay and Chadwick Shores, but small businesses and single homes as well.
Turkey Creek Volunteer Fire Department substation is also along the proposed construction route, but Chief Rick Hardison said it shouldn’t delay response times to calls any more than any other potential issue.
“There’s always that potential for delayed response, but that is the possible with normal traffic especially as you get closer to the summer time,” he said.
With another station on the opposite side of N.C. 210, Hardison said response to calls comes from both sides of 210, which will be helpful if the Turkey Creek station’s route is slowed or delayed due to the construction.
Sneads Ferry Road is a common route for that station, he said, but there are alternate routes, including Country Club Road.
Hardison said the station will assess the situation on a day-by-day basis in order to continue to respond to calls.
For private residents along the route, their driveways could also get a partial facelift, Meyer said.
He said private driveways are going to be affected by the project and if improvements to driveways are necessary to stay in line with the project improvements, those changes will be made.
“We will replace the affected areas of resident’s driveways with like products,” he said.
That means that concrete will be replaced with concrete, asphalt with asphalt.
Widening of the shoulders to improve motorist safety is a portion of the project, with improvements to drainage also taking place, Meyer said.
The drainage improvements will help move water away from the roads, he said.
The work will hopefully be followed by resurfacing in about three and a half years, Meyer said.
Meyer reminds motorists that safety is a priority during the duration of the project and to use caution in the area, be aware of delays and be patient.