Chapel Hill officials will ask the N.C. Department of Transportation for additional money to offset transit costs during a South Columbia Street widening project.
The 0.8-mile project is expected to detour traffic along Manning Drive from April to September. The detour could cost Chapel Hill Transit up to $2 million in additional operations and maintenance costs, officials said.
“This is (money) that Chapel Hill, Carrboro, UNC – no one has budgeted for – that is going to be taken out of our hide at this present time,” Council member Jim Ward said Monday. “One of the reasons I understand this project is finally getting constructed is they got a low bid, and maybe they got a low bid, because we changed (the requirements).”
Ward is a member of the Chapel Hill Transit partners committee, which met last week to consider its options for meeting the extra financial demand.
The project will add bike lanes, sidewalks, a center turn lane and other improvements from Purefoy Road to Manning Drive. Preliminary work started Nov. 27.