LUMBERTON — The city will receive $556,000 in federal money to make improvements to Carthage Road and Water Street in downtown Lumberton, according to a statement released on Thursday by U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre’s office.
The funding has been approved by U.S. Department of Transportation to study, design and construct roadway widening and bicycle and pedestrian travel lanes for improved access from Interstate 95 to downtown Lumberton. Money will also be used to improve a badly congested four-road intersection, and improve storm water collection along the route.
“This is good news for downtown Lumberton,” McIntyre said in the statement. “Helping improve access from I-95 to businesses is a win-win for customers and proprietors. It is great to see resources being dedicated to doing all we can to help Lumberton grow and prosper.”
The City Council in January approved a grant application to the Federal Highway Administration for the enhancement of the Carthage Road corridor as an entryway from I-95. The first phase of the project is projected to cost $695,000 — $556,000 of which will be paid for by the grant and $139,000 to be paid by the city.
Brandon Love, director of Planning and Neighborhood Services, told The Robesonian at the time that the city has been working for several years on downtown redevelopment, and that Carthage Road, one of the main entrances to downtown, needs improvements.
Love said that the city would also like the North Carolina Department of Transportation to update the infrastructure of the Carthage Road exit on I-95, Exit 19. He hopes the city’s work on Carthage Road will enhance its proposal to the state.
Work is expected to begin soon on Exit 22, another major interchange in Lumberton. The two-year project will include a new design that is expected to better accommodate the heavy traffic flow on U.S. 301 and onto I-95.