Durham drivers brace for major road closure

January 6, 2012 4:40:53 AM PST
Durham drivers are coming to terms with the idea that one of the city's main thoroughfares will be closed, and possibly for a year.

Campus Drive runs underneath Main Street, and the NC DOT says the bridge must be replaced for safety reasons. To do that, the road must be closed. The work will extend from Swift Avenue to Buchanan Boulevard, and will impact thousands of students on Duke's East Campus. University officials say the work could block the entrance to at least one dorm on campus.

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The construction is not scheduled to begin until the spring, but the NC DOT is already warning people of the possible headache this $1.6 million project could cause.

"The best thing to do is to avoid the area," NC DOT's Dennis Jernigan said. "Find an alternate route. If you don't use the signed detour, just find another avenue to get where you're going."

The signed detour will be Broad Street, NC 147, Duke Street, and Gregson Street.

Durham residents however, are concerned those detours will affect neighborhood traffic.

"It's hard enough to get through this neighborhood," Durham resident Sheila Goldstein said. "There may be a little extra on Gregson and Duke but we can deal with that."

There is some relief in sight--Duke, the NC DOT, and the bus systems have all agreed most of the bridge work will happen at night and during the summer months to ease the disruption.

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