WILMINGTON — Drivers in Wilmington might notice a change to a major intersection: new traffic patterns have eliminated left-hand turns from Kerr Avenue onto Market Street.
While the current pattern is referred to as temporary, it does resemble the final traffic pattern, according to North Carolina Department of Transportation Spokesman Brian Rick.
The new pattern will eliminate the left turn pattern at the busy intersection in an effort to help increase safety as well as relieve congestion at the crossroad.
“There will not be any left turns on Market Street from Kerr. It is an intersection change utilizing that uses the Wilmington Ave Extension and Cinema Drive to make the left turn movements,” Rick said.
Wilmington Traffic Engineer Don Bennett said diverting left-turn traffic to smaller intersections is easier to manage compared to several movements taking place at one major intersection.
Drivers traveling from the north on Kerr Avenue will take a left on New Centre Drive, passing the Target shopping center, and intersect with Market Street; drivers traveling from the south will use the new Wilmington Avenue Extension, traveling around the AMC 16 movie theater, and intersect with Market Street.
The new traffic patterns are a part of the larger $22 million Kerr Avenue project which will widen the road and install new traffic signals along the way.
According to an NCDOT press release, “In addition to widening Kerr Avenue, the contractor will add traffic signals at the intersections of Kerr Avenue and Cinema Drive; Market Street and Cinema Drive; Kerr Avenue and New Cent(re) Drive/Sunglow Drive; Market Street and Wilmington Avenue, and Kerr Avenue and Birchwood Drive.
“Traffic signals help control the movement of traffic in an effective manner and ensure an orderly traffic flow by providing opportunities for vehicles, bicyclists, or pedestrians to cross at an intersection,” the release concludes.
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