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Ask 13: Why is traffic cut off on Crayton Road

"Beyond the barrier, (Crayton) road continues past some train tracks and then eventually ends at Sweeten Creek at the I-40 interchange. Why has this road become a dead end?" Daniel Belisle wrote Ask 13. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

We've all been down a dead end road before. But what if the road continues after the dead end? That is what led to a question for Ask 13.

Liberty Road, which is close to the Interstate 40 and Sweeten Creek Road interchange, becomes Crayton Road further down. And, after it becomes Crayton Road, there's a guard rail with a stop sign in the middle of the road that stops all traffic.

"Beyond the barrier, the road continues past some train tracks and then eventually ends at Sweeten Creek at the I-40 interchange. Why has this road become a dead end?" Daniel Belisle wrote Ask 13.

Apparently, the neighborhood street was closed in 2000 when the redesigned Sweeten Creek Road interchange with I-40 opened. Before then, Liberty and Crayton was a cut through with more than 9,500 cars per day.

The DOT was worried about the traffic volume so close to the new interchange. DOT guidelines don't allow intersecting streets within 900 feet of an interstate ramp, and Crayton Road is just 200 feet. That's why it was closed off.

But there have been discussions, some as recently as 2015, to re-open it.

A 2015 memorandum from transportation director Ken Putnam discusses the pros and cons of reopening Crayton Road. The benefits included increased police and fire response times to areas south of I-40. But because of the increased traffic, Crayton Road would have to be moved if it was re-opened.

"So, bottom line, before the NCDOT staff would support the reopening of Crayton Road, they would like it moved further away from the interchange influence area, which puts us in the same dilemma faced by NCDOT when the interchange was built," Putnam concluded.

DOT officials, at the time, said moving Crayton Road would be a multimillion dollar project -- one they thought was too costly for taxpayers.

If you have a question you'd like answered, write to Ask13@wlos.com.

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