UNION COUNTY, N.C. - A major overhaul on U.S. Highway 74 could ease congestion and address safety concerns on one of the area's busiest highways.
For years drivers have complained about the red sea of traffic lights on the highway.
"I have to leave an hour before I have to be at school just to get to school and I only live 15 minutes away," driver Victoria Cardele told Eyewitness News.
On Monday night Union County commissioners approved a regional transportation plan for U.S. 74, one that has been in the works since 2011.
"It's really important from a safety standpoint for moving traffic, and providing access to the business and jobs that are along 74," said Dick Black, Union County planning director.
Officials plan to create "super streets" at least four major intersections with U.S. 74, including Sardis Church Road, Faith Church Road, Indian Trail-Fairview Road and Unionville-Indian Trail Road.
"From the side streets you can't take left turns on 74 and you can't go across on 74," Black said, indicating it would create a continuous flow of traffic through U-turns at other intersections.
Officials are also planning a network of parallel streets for local traffic to use to avoid traffic snarls on U.S. 74 and want to consolidate driveways of some businesses to eliminate the delay of stop-and-go traffic.
Black said the overhaul is vital to the county's financial future.
"(U.S.) 74 is the economic engine for Union County," he said.
Commissioners will issue bids for the first four intersections next year, expected to cost $2 million each.
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