New highway near Bragg takes shape

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December 16, 2009 5:12:10 PM PST
The I-295 project near Fort Bragg is starting to take shape. The new road will allow Bragg Boulevard to be closed, making Murchison Road the gateway entrance to the post.

The construction project is already attracting new businesses to an area of town that hasn't seen much development in years. Albert Norton moved his electric company -which does a lot of work at Fort Bragg - from Hope Mills. He built new building six months ago.

"When I was in Hope Mills location it was an hour trip. Basically, by the time you fight the traffic and get through the gate guards or whatever and get to the job site, you'd lose about an hour. Now I can be on the job in less than ten minutes," he explained.

The communities near the base on Murchison Road used to be a collection of mobile home parks plagued with drugs,

prostitution and violent crime. That is now starting to change.

The murk - as it's affectionately known - is becoming home to churches with upscale landscaping and businesses looking to the future.

"The mobile home parks down here and over here are clearing out. You see a lot of these vacant lots that have never been for sale are actually for sale. I think people are kind of seeing the future as changing," said Wayside Furniture owner Tripp Jones.

Jones and his dad have owned Wayside Furniture on The Murk forever. They don't like having to give up part of their store's parking lot for a wider Murchison Road, but they do see a positive side to being down the block from the new entrance to Fort Bragg.

"When Bragg Boulevard closes, the traffic count on this road will at least double just like that. I mean, that's equivalent of picking up your store the way it is and moving it to another location," said Jones.

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