The change is Seventh Street, which has had a four-lane design for several years, will now be two lanes, with a middle turn lane. One issue regular motorists have raised is that a single, two-way roadway will eliminate the option of passing slower traffic.
State highway officials say, however, that the new road will be a safer one.
"All you have to do is look at the telephone poles, and you can see nearly every one of them has been hit," says Department of Highways District Engineer Rusty Roten. "The narrowness of the lanes is a real issue."
The changes are coming as one section of Corridor D is opening up, and others will be open to traffic soon.
"We feel that four lanes are going to be less needed in the future," says Tim Kirk, DOH traffic engineer, "and that safety is going to be the important topic. We want to address that high accident rate, given the opportunity Corridor D presents."
We've heard some business owners are concerned with how the changes will affect their business. Others, however, have learned how to adapt.
Among them is Rusco Home Improvement, which has been at the same Seventh Street location for more than half a century.
"It's not going to hit us as far as affecting traffic," says Rusco General Manager Mark Williams. "If anything, it may make it easier for traffic to come in and out of here."
Roten believes traffic delays in the early construction stages may have been the result of traffic signal malfunctions, not the construction work itself.
The re-laning project is expected to be completed by fall.
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