NCDOT finishing up Moore Co. road improvements for US Opens - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

NCDOT finishing up Moore Co. road improvements for US Opens

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North Carolina Highway 211 was widened from two to four lanes, according to the NCDOT. North Carolina Highway 211 was widened from two to four lanes, according to the NCDOT.
PINEHURST, N.C. -

The North Carolina Department of Transportation has been busy working on projects to improve transportation throughout Moore County in advance of the U.S. Open Championships.

NCDOT said around 350,000 people are expected in to visit Moore County over the course of both the mens and womens championships.

Numerous roadway improvements were made by NCDOT crews to help the Pinehurst area accommodate the expected influx in population.

"The work we've done will not only make it easier and safer for visitors to travel to Pinehurst for the U.S. Open, but it will also benefit local residents and commuters long after the tournaments are over," said Transportation Secretary Tony Tata.

North Carolina Highway 211 was widened from two to four lanes, according to the NCDOT.

"It's obviously much quicker now and two lane highway going to four lane highway as opposed to one, so it’s a great improvement for the area," said Carl Fleming, who lives in Pinehurst.

The improvements took time, testing the patience of some people who live in the area.

"It's been really aggravating to have to put up with road construction, but it’s going to be well-worth it," said Graham Fox, who lives in Candor. "The road construction is something that we really needed. That's been a really good thing, I think, for the area. The four lane that they put in was something we’ve needed for years."

Sherri Ivey of Pinehurst agreed.

"The roads go through a lot smoother. There's five schools that go through 211, so the traffic at school time has been horrendous, so all four lanes being up has been a big help," she said.

Also, crews replaced a bridge on U.S. 15/501 in Aberdeen.

The Moore County Airport added 6,500 feet of runway and 28,000 square feet of ramp space with the help of NCDOT, the department said.

"We're expecting 2,000 to 4,000 airplanes, ranging from small single- engine airplanes to corporate jets, to land at our airport during the tournaments," said Moore County Airport Executive Director Steve Borden.

Special directional signs pointing travelers to Pinehurst have been placed at airports across the state including Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Piedmont Triad International Airport and Raleigh-Durham International Airport, the department said.

NCDOT said the improvements have been in the works since the United States Golf Association announced in 2007 both the men’s and women’s championships would be held in Pinehurst.

"Through years of collaborative work, we were able to address the infrastructure needs of this event and the surrounding community at the same time," said NCDOT Division 8 Engineer Rob Stone.

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

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