Mayor points out truck traffic issues

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Mount Olive Pickle Co. was applauded by representatives from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the Eastern Carolina Regional Council and the area’s trucking industry.

The praises to the company for its efforts to help eliminate big truck traffic issues plaguing cities and towns in the nine county Eastern Council area came at a recent planning meeting held in Kinston.

The areas targeted in the session focused on the problems facing the heavy trucking industry, such as the lack of staging and parking areas and the lack of clearly marked trucking routes.

Mount Olive Mayor Joe Scott presented a PowerPoint review of the issues Mount Olive has and what the town is doing to combat it.

The big issue here has been the high volume of heavy truck traffic along Breazeale Avenue and the lack of turning room on streets turning off the main thoroughfare to the pickle company warehouse and distribution centers, the mayor said.

The lack of a staging area for the big trucks has also resulted in trucks having to park in shopping centers and other areas, and in some cases causing property damage, according to town officials.

The pickle company, months ago, petitioned the town to endorse asking the state to cut a road off N.C. Highway 55 East over to Talton Avenue to take the truck load off Breazeale Avenue.

The request was approved and the road is being constructed now. It is nearing completion.

The pickle company will also construct a staging area adjacent to the new road that will handle up to 60 trucks at one time with included restroom facilities, scales and refrigeration at the site.

The town has also erected a number of way-finding signs to assist truckers.

Town Manager Charles Brown was at the planning meeting and said at the end of the session a survey was taken and the first question raised, was what can be done to improve the situation?

He said the overwhelming consensus was there is a need for more Mount Olive Pickle companies.

Brown said it is estimated 50,000 big trucks haul inventory into the pickle plant facilities annually.

“They are doing their part to make sure truckers have parking and other facilities there,” Brown said.

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