FAYETTEVILLE, NC - Major changes could be on the way for residents who live in the western part of Cumberland County. The NCDOT has a plan that would close two medians and reroute drivers wanting to make a left turn onto Bingham Drive.
"Pepperbush is the only way in and out of our subdivision," said Dell Caramanno, a resident who lives off of Bingham Drive. "It's going to stop us from going left at Pepperbush. We have to go right, make a U-turn and then head to Hope Mills."
Caramanno is one of several residents upset about the proposal. NCDOT would close medians off Bingham Drive at Pepperbush and Greenock. It would allow traffic heading south towards Hope Mills to turn left. Drivers who want to turn left on Pepperbush and Greenock won't have the option because the median will be closed.
"It would be a pain," Caramanno said.
On Tuesday night, NCDOT held an open house specifically for the public's input on the project. In just the past five years, there have been 22 crashes between the two intersections including three fatal ones at Greenock. Some residents wondered why a stop light wasn't a part of the initial plan.
"We think the dramatic improvement in safety would outweigh the minor inconvenience of having to make a U-turn," said NCDOT spokesman Andrew Barksdale. "The speed limit on Bingham is 45 mph. If you start adding more traffic lights, people aren't going too far. They will keep stopping."
The plan could cost roughly $200,000 with construction starting as early as next spring. Residents like Caramanno still aren't on board.
"If there's anybody in favor of this, I don't know them," Caramanno said.