North Carolina looks to make roads safer as traffic booms

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – In a few months, you’ll notice big changes on the roads.

The state is spending millions to help you get to where you need to go easier and faster — and also safer.

The fast pace of North Carolina’s growth is putting a greater strain on the roads. And more gridlock leads to more accidents.

The state is looking to spend $50 million to improve high way safety.

“We’re very excited about it and think it will be a great asset to the public to help reduce the number of injuries and fatalities on the roads,” said N.C. DOT traffic engineer Kevin Lacy.

The DOT has a list of more than 80 places in dozens of counties they’re planning to work on over the next year or so.

They’re installing traffic lights, left turn lanes, guardrails, crosswalks, even roundabouts.

One area in line for a makeover is the intersection of Lake Wheeler and Optimist Farm roads in Wake County. The state will put up more warning signs and warning lights.

“It seems like money well spent,” said Morrisville resident Tom Frantz. “We hear occasionally our infrastructure falling behind a little bit when it comes to roads.”

And many of those roads up for an overhaul are in rural and suburban areas not designed for heavy traffic.

“We need good infrastructure – brings in business, makes things safer,” said Raleigh resident Sue Grogan.

The federal government will help out by reimbursing the state down the road.

The DOT identified the specific roads they’re working on partly through public input and also by looking at accident statistics.

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