Bermuda Run working on improvements to NC 801/US 158 intersection
By Jim Buice
BERMUDA RUN – As work on the I-40 widening project winds down to a long-awaited completion, Town Manager Lee Rollins found an opportune time during this month’s council meeting to address another major road concern – the intersection of US 158 and NC 801.
Rollins said that he and Mayor Rick Cross were part of a recent conference call with Hillary Sherman, the state’s representative with the U.S. Economic Development Administration, Kyle Bridges of Rep. Ted Budd’s office, and Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Development Commission, about the congested convergence.
“There tends to be a question about what’s the town going to do about it,” Rollins said. “Well, there’s a U.S. highway and a North Carolina highway that happens to cross sections in the Town of Bermuda Run. The town is being a fierce advocate not only for Bermuda Run residents but for all residents of Davie County and those that come in and out to look at a high-impact, low-cost improvement to that intersection of 158 and 801.
“So just know wethat are doing everything we can to work with DOT to address at least a measured approach to making what we think will be very positive proactive improvements to a better flow at that intersection.”
Also in the manager’s report, Rollins said that he will be coming to council later in the month with a proposal for the removal of over 700 Leyland Cypress trees along the fence line of US 158, and also a proposal for the removal of 66 Bradford Pear trees along Bing Crosby Boulevard.
“There’s blight on those trees,” he said. “I’ve talked to arborists. There are no ways to be able to spray those to bring them back because of the age of those trees. And it’s not just Bing Crosby Boulevard. It’s everywhere.”
In the only action item on the agenda in last Tuesday night’s meeting, the cuncil approved the Phase II Drainage Analysis, which will provide a complete database framework for drainage infrastructure to include Bing Crosby Boulevard and Bermuda Village areas to Bridge Street and provide further information on any potential drainage impacts from future development along the east side of NC 801 South.
The Phase II Analysis was proposed to be at a fixed cost of $12,000 and be expended from the utility dund.
“I think that it’s imperative to do Phase II to complete the circle,” councilman Mike Ernst said before the positive vote.
In the public comments portion of the meeting, Gary LeBlanc, who lives at 168 Warwicke Place and spoke at the last meeting about continuing flooding problems in his neighborhood, praised the council for approving the Phase I Drainage Analysis and looked forward to see the results in the coming weeks and months.
“I saw on agenda tonight you’re looking at Phase II, and of course this is critical to be able to address the water concerns that are coming in off of 801, so I brought a few friends with me tonight,” LeBlanc said regarding a packed house in town hall, “in a show of support for this initiative.”
Also in the meeting, Davie County Sheriff J.D. Hartman provided an update on the community officer program agreement with the town and other matters, saying “the last 18 to 24 months have been the busiest time I’ve ever had, not necessarily with call volume but just the general state of affairs.” Hartman mentioned many changes involving staff changes, new technology and software, and moving into a new facility.
Hartman said he thought that the community officer program, which was started in 2017 in Bermuda Run, “has been a great benefit to you all and the sheriff’s office, saying that Zach Williams has built relationships in the town that a general patrol officer can’t do in a role of just responding to calls.”
Hartman added that although the town has a community officer dedicated to working 40 hours a week in Bermuda Run, 35 other deputies that have responded to events in the town limits over the first six months of the year.
“You have a community officer, and he’s here for you,” Hartman said. “He has a phone number, and he can be called direct to help with local problems or local issues, but there’s always deputies here even when Zach’s not here.”
In other highlights from last Tuesday night’s meeting, the council:
• heard from Rollins that work on sidewalk repairs will begin in Kinderton Village residential along Old Towne Drive to fix problems created by tree roots impacting those sidewalks;
• heard from Rollins that the street pavement condition assessment approved by council should be completed by the end of this month, and the town maintains 21 miles of streets within its town limits; nad
• heard that the town’s Summer Concert Series will return in August with Envision kicking things off Aug. 7 at Town Center, Kinderton Boulevard, North Tower on Aug. 14, followed by Matt Dylan & the Honky Tonk Outlaws Aug. 21 and Special Occasion Band Sept. 11. All the concerts, which are free, will start at 7 p.m.