HILDEBRAN — Curley’s Fish Camp Road is a shortcut after motorists get off at Interstate 40 Exit 118 and want to get to U.S. 70 in Hildebran.
But proposed designs from the North Carolina Department of Transportation would end that shortcut and turn the end of the road closest to I-40 into a cul-de-sac.
NCDOT held a public meeting Thursday evening in Hildebran to answer questions about its plans to replace the Old NC 10 bridge over I-40 and make upgrades to other streets in the area.
Plans for the $26.2 million project call for the current bridge to remain in operation while the new bridge is being constructed approximately 20 feet to the east, transportation officials said. The NC 10 road will have to be realigned with the new bridge, as well as the on- and off-ramps at the I-40 exit, officials said. The on- and off-ramps also will be extended, plans show.
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When those intersections get realigned, the two-way on-ramps will no longer exist, said David Uchiyama, an NCDOT spokesman. He said once the bridge is touched (replaced, moved), everything else has to be brought up to federal standards. He said two-way access doesn’t meet federal highway safety standards.
As part of the redesign of the two-way eastbound on-ramp, Dietz Avenue will be created that will extend an access road from Henry River Road to N.C. 10, according to the proposed plans.
However, the two-way westbound on-ramp road on the north side of the bridge will be changed, with Curley’s Fish Camp Road ending in a cul-de-sac.
And that doesn’t seem to sit well with people in the community, including the owners of Curley’s Fish Camp.
Owner Travis Foster said the road ending in a cul-de-sac will impact his business. He said there is property for sale that stretches between Curley’s Fish Camp Road up to NC 10 alongside of the Hildebran First Baptist Church. He believes NCDOT could buy that land to create an access road that would replace the two-way on-ramp.
He said there are seven businesses that have trucking as part of their operation that use the road to access I-40. Creating a cul-de-sac at the end of Curley’s Fish Camp Road will force the heavy transfer trucks and more traffic to travel along U.S. 70 to get onto I-40 at either Exit 116 or Exit 119, Foster said. There is a business along the road that sells and repairs transfer trucks. Also located on the road is Valdese Weavers.
NCDOT officials told The News Herald at the meeting that an access road can’t be created on the Curley’s Fish Camp Road side because it would either impact the church or be too close to the intersection.
The work will also cause around 20 properties to be relocated, according to NCDOT. It also will take around 28 parking spaces of the Baptist church.
Jimmy Dameron, who lives on 3rd Street in Hildebran, said he agrees the I-40 bridge needs to be fixed but the other things that will be changed or impacted is overkill.
Dameron said there is property along NC 10 before 3rd Street that is for sale that NCDOT could purchase to create a road that would run to U.S. 70. That would be a shorter route to access I-40 for those on Curley’s Fish Camp Road and it would eliminate the need for the right of ways. It also would eliminate the proposed work along 3rd Street, he said.
To see the NCDOT proposed project, visit https://publicinput.com/I-40-OldNC10-Hildebran.
The public has until Dec. 8 to comment. Those who attended the meeting had the chance to leave written comments. But people also can comment via email at I-40-OldNC10-Hildebran@publicinput.com, or by mail to Alecia Hardy, NCDOT-EAU, 1598 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1598. People also can call 984-205-6615, Code: 4776 or visit https://publicinput.com/I-40-OldNC10-Hildebran.
Uchiyama said NCDOT will take the comments, go through them and answer individual comments and the information will be condensed into the next phase of the project. The proposed plans call for the necessary right-of-ways to be secured next year and the project to start in September 2024.