Drivers in Havelock need to be ready for a detour this morning since part of Highway 70 is closed.
Crews will be replacing the railroad crossing over US 70 starting today. To do that, they have shut down Highway 70 between Roosevelt Blvd. and Fontana Blvd. in both directions.
Officials are expecting what they are calling "unavoidable bottlenecks" and "significant delays." Only commericial vehicles and vistors will be allowed through the main gate of Cherry Point. Everyone else must use Cunningham Gate and Slocum Gate. Those two gates will be open around the clock.
"Every effort has been and will be made to reduce the delays, but it will be impossible to eliminate them entirely," said Capt. Mark Bailey, the Cherry Point deputy provost marshal. "We recommend that people carpool when possible, leave early for work in the morning to give themselves extra time, ensure they have sufficient gas in their vehicle, and most of all, be patient. There are no shortcuts, and any attempt to make one will more likely result in an even longer delay."
The work is scheduled to wrap up Wednesday, but officials say any weather delays could push the work into Thursday and Friday.
Below is information released from the MCAS Cherry Point, the City of Havelock and NCDOT:
The Main Gate will be open inbound to commercial vehicles and visitor passes only. All visitors will be directed to Pass and ID. All other traffic attempting to enter through the main gate will be redirected off base. All traffic exiting the base through the main gate will only be permitted to turn right onto NC Hwy 101 west.
Cunningham Gate on NC Hwy 101 and Slocum Gate on US Hwy 70 west will be open 24 hours a day. The traffic flow will be adjusted during morning and afternoon rush hours to accommodate heavy traffic. Expect significant delays.
Entering from the east
Traffic entering the base from US Hwy 70 on the east side of Havelock will be detoured onto Cunningham Road (near the Havelock Police Department) where they will be directed to the Cunningham Gate on NC Hwy 101. Traffic approaching on NC Hwy 101 from the east will enter the base at the Cunningham Gate as well.
Entering from the west
Traffic entering the base from US Hwy 70 on the west side of Havelock will enter the Slocum Gate on US Hwy 70 on the west side of town. From 5-8 a.m., (approximate times- may be adjusted to allow additional flow) this gate will be open for inbound traffic only (two lanes).
Base traffic headed to east Havelock and points east will exit the Cunningham Gate and be routed east on NC Hwy 101 or US Hwy 70.
Base traffic headed to west Havelock and points west will exit the Slocum Gate. Traffic will also be able to exit through the Main Gate, but will only be permitted to turn right onto NC Hwy 101 west.
City of Havelock
Havelock Police Chief Wayne Cyrus urges all drivers to obey signage and detour barriers, as deviation from directed routes will compound delays. Diversion into residential areas will only lengthen trip time, as detours have been designed for maximum flow and NCDOT will alleviate congestion by manually overriding signal timing when necessary. The City of Havelock encourages all drivers, as Cherry Point has, to be mindful of the fuel levels in their vehicles, conserve the number of trips through town if at all possible during this construction, and above all, be patient.
Through traffic heading eastbound will be routed left onto Fontana Blvd from US Hwy 70, right onto Crocker Rd, merging into Roosevelt Blvd, and merging back onto US Hwy 70 eastbound. Drivers may also continue east on Fontana/NC Hwy 101 to McCotter Blvd to connect back to US Hwy 70 eastbound.
Through traffic heading westbound will be routed to Roosevelt Blvd, left on Fontana at the Main Gate, and right back onto US Hwy 70. Similarly, drivers may choose to use McCotter Blvd or Cunningham Road from US Hwy 70 to NC Hwy 101, joining US Hwy 70 westbound at Fontana Blvd.
Additionally, access to those businesses in between the closed area will be restricted. Customers of businesses from Dick Parker Ford through the gas station on Roosevelt Blvd may enter/exit those businesses from either Crocker/Roosevelt, or from US Hwy 70. Traffic to those businesses will be the only traffic allowed past Fontana Blvd southbound and Roosevelt northbound (see map).
Havelock Police will be strategically stationed during peak travel times to assist in traffic flow.
NC Department of Transportation
NCDOT will be erecting directional signage, barriers and cones in the affected areas beginning Monday, December 13, 2010 at 2AM. All redirection signage will be complete before the morning rush hour.
Signal technicians will be stationed at the following intersections
US Hwy 70 and Slocum Road, NC Hwy 101, Roosevelt Blvd, Cunningham Blvd
NC Hwy 101 and Roosevelt Blvd, Cunningham Blvd
To adjust the timing of traffic signals for optimum flow during peak travel hours.