Improvements sought for NC Highway 55

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The Mount Olive Town Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a motion to ask the N.C. Department of Transportation to look at lowering speed limits on a stretch of N.C. Highway 55.

A resolution approved at the board’s last meeting, requests the DOT conduct a feasibility study on lowering the speed limit from 45 to 35 mph between the Mount Olive Animal Hospital, just east of Breazeale Avenue, and Walmart.

It is a stretch of slightly more than a half mile, and has been the location of 30 wrecks since January of 2018, said Mayor Ken Talton.

Talton said the stretch from the intersection of Highway 55 and Breazeale Avenue north along U.S. Highway 117 Alternate at Northeast Church Road should also be included in the study.

There have numerous residential complaints over the last year about safety issues along the Highway 55 corridor through town.

Mayor Talton said he has discussed the safety issues along the area with Mount Olive Fire Chief Greg Wiggins, who has kept detailed records of wrecks in the area.

“We feel that lowering the speed limit from 45 to 35 will reduce the number of motor vehicle accidents and [make] the area safer for the motoring public,” said Talton.

In an email, the mayor said he had the opportunity to discuss issues along the Highway 55 corridor with state Rep. John Bell.

He said they discussed additional lighting, and safety at the T-intersections at Bert Martin Road.

Bell said he would discuss the issues with the DOT, Talton added.

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