LETTER: Safety concerns surround bypass

Mar. 13, 2013 @ 04:59 AM

To the Editor:

It is blatantly obvious that the routing of N.C. 87 at the conjunction of the southern end of the U.S. 421 bypass was planned and constructed with the objective of least cost and not safety. The southbound lanes of N.C. 87 south of Sanford twist and turn. The right lane then merges with the left lane. Immediately after that, the left lane merges with the outside lane of the U.S. 421 bypass. The two merges so close together present a safety hazard in heavy traffic moving at highway speed, and especially in foggy or wet conditions, and also at night because it is very dark in that area. These conditions set the stage for a potentially severe accident.

In addition, there are no guard rails where the ground quickly slopes off from the highway for both the southbound and northbound lanes of N.C. 87. The absence of guardrails where they are needed presents another safety hazard. I have discussed the southbound lane merges and lack of guardrails with several Sanford residents, and they all have the same opinion.

Actually, N.C. 87 would have been safer if it had remained a straight highway and the U.S. 421 bypass was wrapped around it. The right northbound lane of N.C. 87 would then access the bypass, and the southbound lane of the bypass could have connected to N.C. 87 South using an overpass. I have witnessed this design in other states, and I believe it is much safer.

David Axner