Traffic

Growth, Bragg security prompt traffic changes

Posted August 19

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— Growth in Spring Lake and increased security on Fort Bragg are affecting thousands of drivers in the Fayetteville area.

The state Department of Transportation closed northbound Bragg Boulevard at Randolph Street, on Fort Bragg, on Wednesday, pushing traffic onto Murchison Road, which has been widened to handle the traffic heading into Spring Lake.

"With the closing of northbound Bragg Boulevard, it allows us to construct, actually, the southbound side of Murchison that actually ties into Bragg Boulevard," said James Flowers, a DOT engineer.

About 50,000 to 60,000 vehicles travel on Bragg Boulevard across the Army post every day, and Flowers said the change to the normal traffic pattern will likely cause confusion among drivers.

"We're trying to alleviate that confusion as much as possible, and we're also monitoring the area, especially Randolph Street, because that's where all of the traffic is going right now," he said. "We're hoping to make any type of changes to help alleviate those backups."

The road closure came a week after a new section of Interstate 295 opened, linking Murchison Road to Ramsey Street. The section of the highway between Murchison Road and Bragg Boulevard was already open, and another section linking Bragg Boulevard and All American Freeway is expected to open by the end of the year.

With I-295 tying into roads at the south end of Fort Bragg, Army officials plan to close Bragg Boulevard in both directions north of Gruber Road and Stryker Golf Course to eliminate non-essential traffic on post.

Then, the guard shacks and concertina wire that line parts of Bragg Boulevard can come down, and the new traffic pattern will have fewer traffic lights, meaning drivers can enjoy a faster trip between Fayetteville and Spring Lake by using I-295 and a widened Murchison Road, Flowers said.

"Once you eliminate those traffic signals, the vehicles can move," he said. "They can stay moving, and in fact, you could probably go from Spring Lake all the way to, I think, Cape Fear Valley Hospital without a traffic signal," he said.

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