Road Work in Harrisburg Driving Residents Mad

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 HARRISBURG, NC —  Drivers in Harrisburg are having to take the long way around.

Road closures, bridge replacements and intersection improvements: it’s all adding up to a traffic nightmare. NC DOT says the multiple projects are part of a larger plan. 

“We have no other access,” says Harrisburg resident Tony Arellano. “So it’s only one way in, one way out.”

Arellano is angry.  Like many of his neighbors in Harrisburg, he’s frustrated by multiple projects around town shutting down roads, causing traffic chaos.  

“It’s affecting the town,” says Arellano. “It’s affecting our quality of life. It’s affecting our safety. I’d like to see, where is the mayor? Where is the council? I haven’t heard from them at all.”

WCCB called Mayor Steve Sciascia to ask about the glut of road work in Harrisburg, but he was not available.

Town councilman Chad Baucom told us that the town is working with the Department of Transportation, getting daily updates and trying to pass those on to the public.

Arellano says it’s not enough.

“I need you to get involved,” says Arellan. “I need you to step it up, and say, ‘You know what DOT, you cannot hold a community hostage.'”

Shamrock Road, Pharr Mill Road, Morehead Road: all closed. And that’s not all.

“Some of them are just intersection improvements,”says NC DOT spokesperson Jen Thompson. “Some of them are bridge replacements. But those are aside and apart from the rail projects.”     

Those rail projects are part of the Piedmont Improvement Program, a federally funded effort to improve train service from Raleigh to Charlotte. Stimulus money is paying the $520 million bill.

And if these projects are not done by 2017, the money will be gone. All these different projects at one time seem like poor planning, but Arellano says it’s more than that.

“There’s nothing going on in there,” says Arellano about the work sites. “They’re dead. There’s nobody working in there. Maybe once a week. Maybe twice a week.”

NC DOT says the bridge replacements in Harrisburg should be finished by spring of next year. Some of the other projects could take longer.