Long-closed section of Road St. reopens to traffic


Motorists have access to the section of Road Street between East Church Street and Ehringhaus Street after the road Friday.


By Jon Hawley
Staff Writer

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The mid-section of Road Street reopened Friday morning in Elizabeth City, marking the near completion of a roughly $800,000 contract for water-sewer work there.

That section of road should also be completely surfaced by this fall, according to City Manager Rich Olson.

Olson said in an interview Friday that RPC Contracting, of Kitty Hawk, has reopened Road Street just off Ehringhaus Street and around the Grice Street intersection. The road has been closed for months — save for a brief reopening during last month’s Potato Festival — forcing motorists to detour.

Olson said RPC may briefly close the road again to paint road stripes, but it should be open until state-funded road resurfacing occurs. He also reported RPC has won a major U.S. Highway 17 resurfacing contract from the N.C. Department of Transportation, but when it starts exactly on Road Street is unclear. Road Street is also U.S. 17 Business.

Nevertheless, Olson said the road should be resurfaced by this fall. That’s good news for city residents who’ve complained for years about the bad shape of the road. DOT has been willing to fix it, but has waited on the city to fix underground utilities first.

Olson also said he didn’t have an estimate yet on the final cost for RPC’s work, but expects it to still come well under the approved contract amount of $815,677. The City Council awarded that contract in December with the understanding the city wouldn’t have to pay for extra items that city staff included in the bid. The city got RPC to give quotes on extra components that might have been necessary, a step taken to lock in prices before the project started.