NCDOT revises plan to widen 15th Street in Washington

WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) – The North Carolina Department of Transportation has revised a plan to widen 15th Street in Washington.

Johnathan Gonzalez, who owns the Razor’s Edge barbershop, has seen a lot in his two years as a 15th Street business owner.

“Cars are flipping over, and it’s due to a lot of blind…spots coming and going where people are trying to make turns and you can’t see,” said Gonzalez.

That’s why the NCDOT revised its plans to improve the road.

After input from the city, it added new left turns and medians.

Gonzalez sees both positives and negatives in the upgrades.

“A lot of residents who live here, it’s going to take a lot of their property away, which is parking and room for their kids to play,” said Gonzalez.

“Once it is complete you have a nicer looking area,” Gonzalez said. “House values do go up. A lot more positives of the construction being done than the negatives.”

Not everyone agrees.

Beaufort Tobacco and Wireless manager Yaz Zachary said the $16 million slated for the project could go elsewhere.

“We need more traffic lights and people need to slow down,” Zachary said.

He said more patrol cars in the area would slow people down, adding the impact on his business and others is not worth it.

“If they put in a median like for our business here, like where this shopping center is, they are going to take half of the parking lot,” said Zachary. “It’s already small.”

While the City Council has not come to a unanimous decision on the revised plans, Gonzalez said the fight to change the street goes deeper than the asphalt.

“(People) are stuck in their ways,” said Gonzalez. “They like a certain thing, and they don’t want to see any change to their city, whether it be downtown or here on 15th Street.”

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