By Erin Smith
Changes to roadways led to some traffic pattern changes on Monday as students and staff headed back to the classroom in Bladen County. Traffic was heavy in the areas of the changes, but it seemed to be moving, none the less.
At the new four-way stop at the intersection of NC 410 and NC 41, traffic was heavy but drivers seemed to be taking their time navigating the area. There have been concerns voiced by the community with regards to the safety of the intersection. Some businesses have re-routed their deliveries to avoid the area.
West Bladen High School posted signs at the exits of their driveway indicating no left turn. The school had the following message posted on their website: “Due to the traffic situation at the intersection of Hwy. 410 and Hwy. 41, the traffic pattern from West Bladen High School has been changed. No left turn signs have been erected at all exits from the school. Any one leaving the school, at any time, should turn right to exit. This is especially important for school dismissal.”
Traffic was re-routed to Center Road causing an increase in traffic on that road. Members of the Dublin Fire Department and Town of Dublin Public Works kept a wary eye on the intersection during the morning commute and also will be posted there Monday afternoon. Firefighters said they will be keeping a watchful eye on the intersection for the next few days as students return to school and become accustomed to the traffic pattern change.
The NC Highway Patrol and Bladen County Sheriff’s Office are also keeping a check on the new four-way stop as well.
On US 701 South in the vicinity of Elizabethtown Middle School, cars exiting the school’s driveway were having to take their time and blend into traffic which was exiting from NC 87 onto US 701 just below the school. Concerns have been raised in the community about the traffic flow in the area with regards to parents attempting to pick up and drop off students and buses also entering and exiting the school property.
Bladen County Schools Public Relations Director Valerie Newton said she was present for a time at Elizabethtown Middle School earlier in the morning. “Everything was moving smoothly. We didn’t have any problems with the traffic pattern change,” said Newton.
She said there were no accidents at the Elizabethtown Middle School this morning and the traffic pattern changes near Elizabethtown Middle School and West Bladen High School did not seem to impact bus traffic or car traffic at either location.
Newton said she had not heard anything negative from West Bladen High School with regards to the new four-way stop but she had not visited the school on Monday morning.