It’s all very nice that Leicester Highway is being widened, but in the meantime, out beyond there, just about anyone who has driven on Sandy Mush Creek Road has probably been nearly forced off the road at least once by a big truck coming around a bend — and the people who live on the road, probably multiple times, as I have been.
Is it going to take someone being killed before we can get some relief from this problem?
— Darlene Wright
Editor’s note: In a subsequent email, Wright said she’d like the N.C. Department of Transportation to install a berm for that road so trucks and cars can avoid collisions. When contacted by Xpress, DOT Division 13 maintenance engineer Mark T. Gibbs suggested that the reader call law enforcement to report reckless-driving issues. Regarding road improvements, he responded: “While the reader mentions a berm, we believe she means an island to separate the opposing traffic flow (i.e., a median). Adding a median to a secondary two-lane facility is not a common practice or standard for NCDOT. If it is determined that improvements are needed, then we would add width to the travel lanes and possibly widen and pave the shoulders in order for vehicles to maintain lane integrity.
“A secondary road would only qualify for improvements with high traffic volumes, narrow lane widths and high truck-traffic percentages. If we determine improvements should be considered, then the project would be submitted for ranking and would compete with other recommended projects across the state, region and our division. Sandy Mush Creek Road has low traffic volumes (i.e., an average of just over 300 vehicles per day), low truck volumes and lane widths capable of supporting the current traffic volumes. Although the road may not qualify for a significant widening improvement now, we do agree that it could be widened at strategic locations the next time it is resurfaced.”