Ocean Isle Beach officials approved a construction agreement for a roundabout at the town’s main intersection on the mainland at Tuesday’s meeting.
Commissioners have supported the North Carolina Department of Transportation roundabout plan at Ocean Isle Beach Road (Four Mile Road) and Beach Drive (N.C. 179) for the past two-and-a-half years, but agreed at the March 14 town meeting to send a check. In October 2014, NCDOT secured $650,000 of the estimated $900,000 cost for the roundabout through the Federal Highway Safety Commission. The town’s commitment to the project would fund the remaining $250,000. Commissioners voted in June 2015 to approve moving forward with the roundabout by putting aside the $250,000 in town funds for the project. It was included as a budget item when the board members approved the fiscal year 2016-17 budget in May 2016. NCDOT will be responsible for planning, design, construction and contract administration of the roundabout project. The town can use its Powell Bill and accommodations tax funds to cover the cost, Town Administrator Daisy Ivey said. Ivey said if the actual project cost is lower than the estimate, the town will receive a percentage of their $250,000 back.
Mayor Debbie Smith said the last she heard from NCDOT the contract for the project would bid in July, but construction would not start until after Labor Day to avoid traffic congestion during the summer season. Smith added that while the work is done, the intersection will not close. Board members approved the construction agreement unanimously, 5-0.