Category Archives: TRANSPORTATION

A ‘roundabout’ for Arapahoe ??? — Locals say ‘You’ve got to be kidding!’

An aerial shot from a jurisdiction in another state shows the intimidating nature of a traffic design meant to eliminate stoplights on heavily traveled, intersecting roads. On the day of this photograph, a lone red van seems to have full run of the traffic circle. ARAPAHOE — Eyes rolled and heads shook among her colleagues on the Pamlico County Commission Monday night when Commissioner Candy Bohmert broached documents Monday night, revealing that state transportation officials are considering a traffic enhancement known as a ‘roundabout’ for an intersection in the small tow…

Feds want more ethanol

Critics hope comment period can derail proposal Gordon Allison, Jr. By Gordon Allison, Jr. News Analysis WASHINGTON, D.C. — Back in 2005, Congress passed a law titled the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires blending of ethanol – a type of alcohol — into our gasoline. It doesn’t matter that ethanol is made mostly from corn, and that its production boosts corn prices and increases pollution in our waterways. Originally, this blending of ethanol and gasoline was called “Gasohol” and it was a 10 percent blend of alcohol with 90 percent straight gas. This is now ca…

No Ferry Tolls! Three words legislators need to hear

Henri and Joe McClees are principals in an Oriental-based lobbying firm known as McClees Consulting. By Henri & Joe McClees RALEIGH – The NC House of Representatives recently passed House Bill 1030 (the 2016 Budget bill) with wonderful language to delete ferry tolls on all ferries and provide for a separate income stream to purchase ferry vessels.  We appreciate the work of visionary members of the NC House who have not forgotten ferries are integral parts of coastal highways. The Budget work continues in the Senate. Senators are working quickly this week to respond to the House ve…

New ferry terminal at Cherry Branch underway

$1.9 million project ‘not linked in any way’ to possible tolls NEUSE RIVER – Describing the 9,000 square foot, super deluxe building as “expanded / improved facilities for the traveling public,” an official with the North Carolina Ferry System dismissed the suggestion this week that proposed tolls for the river crossing – still a possibility – might play some role in funding the almost $2 million structure. “The old terminal at Cherry Branch is roughly 50 years old, and was due to be replaced,” wrote Ferry System spokesman Tim Hass, in an e-mail to this newspaper. “The n…

Loss of steering disables ferry with passengers on board

Eyewitness account at odds with official version This file photo shows the state ferry vessel known as the Silver Lake, which experienced a loss of all steering during a late Saturday afternoon trip from Ocracoke to Cedar Island. OCRACOKE – A press release issued by the North Carolina Ferry System suggests that a steering problem Saturday afternoon with the vessel Silver Lake was handled smoothly and efficiently. However, real-time phone calls received by this newspaper from passengers on board the vessel paint a much different story. Here is the ferry system’s verbatim press rele…

Loss of steering disables ferry with 14 passengers on board

This file photo shows the state ferry vessel known as the Silver Lake, which experienced a loss of all steering during a late Saturday afternoon trip from Ocracoke to Cedar Island. (MANNS HARBOR) – The North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Ferry M/V Silver Lake returned to Ocracoke Sunday under tow after losing steering power and running soft-aground Saturday night. The incident happened about one mile south of Ocracoke as the Silver Lake was making its last run of the day to Cedar Island. The captain of the Silver Lake contacted the U.S. Coast Guard, wh…

State highway officials respond

Change unlikely to ‘Extreme Makeover’ in Bridgeton Motorists from Blueberry Lane are now prohibited from turning left. The mandatory right turn adds more than a mile, plus at least five minutes, for those who want to head east on Highway 55. By Terry Leigh McCune | Staff Writer BRIDGETON — Last week I e-mailed some questions to the North Carolina Department of Transportation concerning the installation of a new traffic island at the intersection at Blueberry Lane and Hwy. 55 in Bridgeton: Q – How did you determine that a new traffic intersection was needed there? A – The locatio…

What the #@*%& happened to this intersection?

Accidents loom, say regular motorists Looking east at the scary intersection. Perhaps the screwiest U-turn in eastern North Carolina. By Terry Leigh McCune | Staff Writer BRIDGETON – The new traffic island – if that’s what you call it — at the intersection of Highway 55 and Blueberry Lane, near the Bridgeton Food Lion grocery store is beyond belief! I don’t know what the Department of Transportation had in mind when they designed this thing. County Compass reader Frank Owen sent a Letter to the Editor last week this fiasco. I agree with him! State taxpayers could have saved thou…

Bypass fees could dwarf ferry tolls

By Bob Miller | Special to the County Compass RALEIGH — Our legislators are once again trying to balance the budget in the face of recent tax cuts by placing “user fees” (a tax) on the ferry system. The justification is the need for $5 million a year to buy new ferry boats and to maintain the system, and they want local transportation advisory committees to buy into this idea. The state also plans to spend $826 million over the next decade for bypasses around Goldsboro, Kinston, and Havelock to relieve congestion on State Highway 70 — yet there is no mention of user fees to help cover…

Here we go all over again!

Another hearing on ferry tolls set for Feb. 6 at Community College By Jeff Aydelette | Staff Writer GRANTSBORO – Mark your calendars right now for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 6th at Pamlico Community College. Exactly two years ago, 600 hopping mad, hornet-angry residents turned out en masse to decry a state government decree that would have imposed tolls for the ferries that cross the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers. The boisterous session ran three hours, ending not a minute too soon for two high-ranking state officials and a private consultant. The next day, a County Compass headline screamed ‘WE…
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