Estes Dr. & North Greensboro Roundabout

Latest Update - 7/31/2020

The construction crews of Fred Smith will be using a drill this week and likely next week, in order to pre-drill in advance of rock removal that is necessary for the stream pipe and drainage system installations. Hammering and rock excavation is anticipated to begin in about three weeks.

Roundabout Project 

The $3.4 million roundabout project is funded by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) through the State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP). The Town submitted the project for state funding in 2013 and it was approved for funding in the 2016-2025 STIP. This improvement is expected to reduce traffic delay and increase safety by providing smoother traffic flow. An added public benefit, aging OWASA stormwater and sanitary sewer lines are being replaced during the roadway work. Construction began in August 2019 is expected to be completed by September 2021. 

Public Safety 

  • Use designated areas and crosswalks. Do not enter the construction area.  
  • Look for construction vehicles and be prepared to stop. 
  • The construction area is off limits to unauthorized personnel. 

Thanks to everyone for their patience as we look forward to the completion of this public improvement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the Town do anything to limit the construction hours?

These requests have been conveyed and discussed with North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) staff.  A drilling process was utilized late last week to increase the effectiveness of the rock hammering.  The extent of rock is considerable; drilling, hammering, and excavation are the only means and methods that can be used in this location to remove the rock, in part because of the proximity of utility lines.  Shortening the work hours would cause significant delays and cost implications as there would be numerous claims from the contractor.  The contract allows work to occur 7 days a week.

Can the Town do anything to minimize the amount of noise?

NCDOT has requested that vehicle backup alarm volumes be reduced whenever possible under applicable OSHA regulations and Fred Smith and their subcontractors have been able to adjust the volume on some vehicles. Subcontractors associated with the gas line relocation do not have flexibility to do this, based on their vehicles and associated OSHA requirements.

Does the project exceed Town noise regulations?

Town noise limitations related to types of equipment, proximity to residences, and hours of occurrence do not apply to work undertaken within a public right-of-way by the NCDOT.  Staff is examining whether there are any other ways to mitigate the noise impacts.

How have these concerns been communicated to the construction company?

All residents’ concerns and interests have been shared with NCDOT, with Fred Smith, the contractor, and with the individuals carrying out construction inspections. The Town will continue to emphasize this in all communication with the project managers. The responsiveness to date reflects a clear understanding of the project impacts on all who live nearby. All look forward to completing the work that creates these specifically challenging impacts.

Can consistent communication regarding hours of construction, days of the week, changes to road access be provided in writing?

The contractor is allowed to perform work 7 days a week from 9AM till Sunset. John Howell has indicated that project staff will send email of any milestones that may occur i.e.- completion of sewer installation and plans for weekend work and Carrboro staff will share this information via email and newsflash/web posting. At the present time, Mr. Howell does not anticipate additional road closures. If the need arises, as has been done previously, a press release and advance notification via message boards will be provided. The Town has maintained a webpage with general project information, with newsflashes of updated info, including announcements of the road closure, as they have occurred and the NCDOT TIMS entry has provided basic project info throughout. The TIMS entry can be accessed here.

What is being done to ensure trash and recycling trucks still have access?

Access has been ongoing in relation to resident access and deliveries. In addition to pickup by Carrboro Solid Waste staff this week, Carrboro staff have communicated with the NCDOT, inspections, and Fred Smith representatives on site. They will ensure that contractor equipment is parked safely and avoid blocking sight distance or trash pickup service and they will be ready to adjust if any issues arise with the Town providing its services.

Can work be restricted as to not occur on the weekend?

NCDOT has requested that work not occur this coming weekend and the contractor has agreed to that at this time though they are behind schedule due to the rock removal. This will extend the road closure to May 1st. Extending a road closure is never the first action NCDOT would consider and they are doing this to assist with the noise concerns. The hope is that the contractor will reach the manhole location by mid-week next week (and will be able to reopen the intersection) but this is dependent on weather and progress. Drilling and hammering will continue after the intersection reopens to complete the excavation needed for the sewer line and is expected in relation to two other aspects of the project.

How is the bicycle and pedestrian access for the full closure of N Greensboro (through May 1) being addressed?

NCDOT is providing access along either the north side of the south side of the roadway depending of where in the process the construction is. 

The plan for bike and ped access on the south side can be viewed here.

The plan for bike and ped access on the north side can be viewed here.

What will the final configuration of the roundabout be?

The final design can be viewed here.

Estes Dr/N Greensboro Roundabout Project Location and Detours

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Previous Updates

7/13/2020 Update:

Work on the sewer pipe is 80 percent complete. The next step will be the second phase of utility/infrastructure. This will consist of excavation and installation of two 60-inch pipes carrying the stream under the roadway, this phase of work is expected to begin around July 13th. We anticipate encountering rock under the roadway, however the amount of rock, method of excavation and time to completion will be dependent on the specific conditions that will be determine in the field.

In the coming weeks ahead, the project contractor, Fred Smith Associates, will make use of extended summer sunlight and extend construction hours to help accelerate the project. Outside of areas controlled by lane closures, work can be expected to start at 7 am and continue until 6 pm.

6/23/20 Update:

To protect pedestrians and cyclists during roundabout construction, the Frances Shetley Bikeway that leads from the Greensboro Street/Estes Drive intersection to Shelton Street will be closing from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays June 22-29. 

The sewer line relocation associated with the roundabout project has reached the point where it will cross the bikeway. Crews will be moving large equipment into the area to remove rock. The temporary bikeway closing is necessary to protect public safety and facilitate movement of construction equipment. Signs indicating a detour to Oak Avenue will be in place.  The bikeway will be open outside of construction hours.

6/9/20 Update:

  1. Work hours are roughly 8am through 5:30pm. The contractor expects to begin working on Saturday each week, dependent upon weather and progress of construction. NCDOT has indicated that the contractor will confirm their plans for Saturday work by the end of the day each Thursday and the Town will be notified so that website and other information can be updated and distributed.
  2. Lane closures can only occur between 9am and 5pm.  When construction ends for the day travel lanes shall be restored to have at least one lane in each direction.
  3. The installation of stormwater and sewer infrastructure requires excavation. Extensive amounts of rock were encountered and required hammering and heavy drilling for removal; N Greensboro St was closed to traffic during for several weeks to allow that work to safely occur. We cannot say with certainty if or when rock might be found during other aspects of the project or if that would require additional road closure.
  4. The Town has made available sound-reducing headphones which can be loaned out to residents affected by the noise. If you wish to acquire a pair please contact Trish McGuire via phone at 919-918-7327 or via email pmcguire@townofcarrboro.org 
  5. Heavy equipment is moving through the work zone. The construction site is off limits to people traveling through the area. Please do not bypass the designated routes and crosswalks in the work zone. These restrictions are done to ensure the safety of everybody. 
  6. Closures of the Frances Shetley Bike Path may occur in order to allow construction equipment to move through the area but these closures would be intermittent, limited, and of short duration.
  7. Look for updates from the Town of Carrboro on Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor for any breaking news about the project.

5/8/20 Update: NCDOT has informed us that the intersection has been reopened to through traffic traveling along N Greensboro Street. (As of 4:07 PM on 5/8) There is still construction equipment present, so please be careful as you navigate through the intersection and be mindful of people walking and biking in the area.

5/4/20 Update: Drivers, please yield to pedestrians in the crosswalks at the Estes/N. Greensboro intersection. There’s a lot going on with the construction activity there and your help is needed to make it as safe as possible. Note, the flashing red signal indicates a STOP condition for all vehicles. NCDOT is responding to concerns about bicycle and pedestrian safety and will be placing additional warning signs on the approaches to the intersection. Work on the underground sewer line has been slowed due to the amount of unexpected rock encountered during excavation. The road should be reopened by next Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 5 PM.

4/29/20 Update: NCDOT has informed us that at this time the sewer line installation continues at a slow pace due to rock delays. In addition to delays there is a threat of storms tomorrow (4/30) NCDOT is expecting the road closure to remain as work continues through next Tuesday. The contractor is not scheduled to work this weekend. Opening of the intersection is anticipated on May 5, 2020 pending weather and rock delays.

4/9/20 Update: The southeast leg of North Greensboro Street (connecting Estes Drive to Downtown) will be closed to motor vehicles from 4/14/20 through 4/28/20, bicycle and pedestrian access will be maintained.
More information can be found here.

12/11/19 Update: Crews plan to work on utilities for the next several months. The traffic pattern will be remaining the same for quite some time. NCDOT is communicating with the Town of Carrboro and if NCDOT needs to close any roads we will make sure to communicate that to the public. Please note that while construction will only be active within the work zone with traffic control from 9am until Sunset, this configuration will remain in place outside of construction hours. We will provide additional updates when the construction layout changes for future phases.

9/18/19 Update: Below is the current Phase 1 construction layout for the Estes/Greensboro roundabout project.Please note that while construction will only be active within the work zone with traffic control from 9:00 AM till Sunset, this configuration will remain in place outside of construction hours. Watch out for changing traffic patterns, we will provide additional updates when the construction layout changes for future phases.

Estes-Greensboro Phase 1 2109

Estes/North Greensboro Roundabout Construction Starts in August-Travel Delays Are Expected.

Please be alert! Construction of the new roundabout at Estes Drive/North Greensboro Street in Carrboro is set to begin the week of August 5th. Work will take place from 9:00 AM until Sunset and travelers should expect delays and lane closures at this intersection. The purpose of this project is to improve safety, access and mobility in this location. Thanks to everyone for their patience as we look forward to the completion of this improvement.

Message boards alerting travelers about the project have been installed. Throughout the duration of the project, pedestrian travel through the work zone will be accommodated via designated routes and crossings on the east and west sides of the intersection. Transit routes will not be affected. Travelers may wish to consider Homestead Road to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd (NC 86) to Franklin Street OR Homestead Road to Old Fayetteville Road to Hillsborough Road as alternate routes to avoid the work zone, in particular during the PM peak (roughly 4pm to 6pm – see illustrative map).

Travelers are reminded to stay alert when approaching the work zone, watch for construction signs and changed conditions, obey the posted speed limit, and allow extra time to reach your destination. Additional information on roundabout intersections is available at https://connect.ncdot.gov/…/TEPPL%20All%20Docume…/R38_br.pdf. For real-time travel information, visit DriveNC.gov or follow NCDOT on Twitter Contact information: NCDOT John Howell (336)570-6833 Town of Carrboro Patricia McGuire (919) 918-7327.

The Town of Carrboro is aware of the disruption this project may cause, and will continue to communicate construction updates to ensure everyone will be properly informed. Construction is projected to conclude in September 2021. Please look for important updates from the Town on our website and social media pages.

Alternative Routes
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Project Timeline

The project is complicated and in association with the roundabout itself involves replacement of underground utilities, including the extension of a large stormwater culvert under the intersection, as well as maintenance of pedestrian traffic throughout construction and ultimately the addition of new pedestrian-activated crossings at both Williams Street and Oak Avenue. Extended work hours (9 am to Sunset) and weekend work (currently expected to include some work on Saturdays), have been included to enable the project to be completed in the shortest time possible. Full road closures are not anticipated unless some unforeseen event occurs.

The decision to complete the work under traffic conditions is due to the unreasonable detour options and the potential overflow at other intersections throughout town. For safety and logistical reasons, the Department does not utilize local streets for detouring traffic. East-west travel alternatives are very limited and full closure would have resulted in lengthy detours for every trip. With the intersection open, there will be delays, but travelers will still be able to use the intersection to access businesses, homes, et cetera, in the vicinity and the F Route is unchanged. We expect to be in regular communication with NCDOT staff about the project’s progress.  

Thanks to everyone for their patience as we look forward to the completion of this improvement!