City Councilman: Walmart Developers May Be Trying To Bend DOT Rules

By: April Davis
By: April Davis

A proposed traffic light on Highway 33 by the site of the future Walmart is causing some controversy in Greenville after a city councilman says he thinks developers were trying to circumvent the normal approval process.

The NC Department of Transportation says a meeting between developers, DOT, and city council to discuss the matter was scheduled for next week, but says developers canceled the meeting.

Greenville city councilman Calvin Mercer says he's glad it was canceled because he felt like developers wanted city council to pressure the DOT to relax its standards and add the light without properly studying how it would affect traffic in the area.

DOT Division Engineer Neil Lassiter says the DOT isn't playing political games, and won't approve a traffic light until it understands how the light will impact congestion on Portertown Road and the recently rezoned property on Highway 33.

"We're looking strictly at the operation of the traffic in that vicinity and also the safety of the traveling public." said Lassiter.

Lassiter says Walmart developers told the DOT they will provide information to address congestion and inter-connectivity concerns, but an exact time line wasn't given.

Calls to Walmart developers about why they canceled the meeting were not returned Tuesday afternoon.

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