City, state looking for solutions to construction traffic nightmare near school

Just two days into the new school year, and traffic at Hucks Road and Old Statesville Road is every bit the nightmare parents feared it would be.

N.C. Department of Transportation is having construction done at the bridge on Hucks Road. The project closed one end of the road. Croft Community School is on the same road, not far from the bridge project.

There’s only one way in and one way out of Hucks Road.

“It’s hell,” said Diana Gentry, who lives off Hucks Road. “Really you try to make appointments after school and before school lets out.”

Gentry believes the intersection at Hucks and Old Statesville needs a light.

“It’s ridiculous. It’s utterly ridiculous,” she said. “And I know the buses are probably running late too because the traffic is backed up in all three directions. It’s hard getting in and out.”

“The mornings are horrendous” said Kelly Walters.

Walters lives in a subdivision across from Croft Community School. She is looking for some answers.

“I called the NCDOT, the Charlotte Department of Transportation. I’ve spoken with the North Division of CMPD. I’ve spoken with Charlotte CMPD – anybody I can get hold of,” she said.

Walters said she believes something is needed to help traffic flow.

“I want a policeman to direct traffic in and out of Hucks Road and Old Statesville 115 in the morning during school, when school is coming in and out – that’s what I want,” she said.

WBTV asked the city of Charlotte and NCDOT what, if anything, they planned to do to move traffic along.

A spokesperson for the city said since the bridge construction is a state project, the responsibility is on NCDOT to manage traffic but that, “A CMPD traffic officer is now monitoring the location until a long-term solution can be implemented by NCDOT.”

NCDOT told WBTV a traffic engineer would be at the intersection Wednesday morning to evaluate traffic and recommend how to respond.

Walters said she wants to see something done right away.

“When you’re trying to get to work, trying to get to school, being there on time, and then you got kids in the car and literally have to use your car to stop traffic with a child in it – it’s not very comforting,” she said.

Neighbors are also questioning the bridge construction itself. They said they haven’t seen any workers at the project in a while.

WBTV asked NCDOT about the project’s status.

A spokesperson said a private contractor is doing the job. The spokesperson said state transportation official gave a start date and an end date – but doesn’t micro-manage how the work is done in between those dates.

NCDOT said the project’s end date is spring 2017.

WBTV is the Observer’s news partner.