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South side of UNCP’s campus gets a safety makeover


When UNC Pembroke’s students return in the fall, the campus will be a safer place for vehicles and pedestrians alike.

The state Department of Transportation DOT) began work in early June on a safety improvement project on West 3rd Street (N.C. 711) and the university parking lots that run alongside the thoroughfare. The project should be complete by August 5, 2011, in time for the start of school.

The key to the project is a new traffic light at the intersection Lowry St. and W. 3rd St., at the McDonald’s restaurant. In the future, restaurant customers traveling west will enter the parking lot from Lowry St. 

New concrete traffic islands at the intersection of 3rd and Lowry Streets will keep traffic moving safely in three lanes: 1) for westbound traffic turning right into university parking lots, 2) for westbound traffic turning left onto Lowry St., and 3) for eastbound traffic turning left into university parking lots.

Third Street at the intersection will widen to accommodate the turn lanes, said Steve Martin, assistant vice chancellor for Facilities Management at UNCP.

A pedestrian crosswalk will be added across 3rd St. from campus to McDonald’s, said DOT’s Project Engineer Donavan Hunt. The engineer said there will be a crossing light installed for pedestrians.

The project will cost $900,279.

These changes to the traffic pattern in Pembroke will affect parking on campus.  UNCP parking lots #1 and #2 will now be accessible only from the traffic light at Lowry and 3rd Streets. Also, parking spaces in lots #3 and #4 (lot 4 is not affected) will be reversed to face the railroad instead of campus; these lots may be entered from University Rd. and exited at Odum Rd. with a right-turn-only.

No parking spaces will be lost, but two large oak trees have been removed.

“The goal is to improve pedestrian and vehicular safety,” Martin said. “This project will help both the town and the university.”

For more information, please contact University and Community Relations at 910.521.6351 or