A strip of Cotanche Street located between East Fifth Street and Reade Circle in Uptown Greenville is now two-way for traffic as construction continues for the Town Creek Culvert project.
According to the city of Greenville’s website, Cotanche Street became two-way on July 12.
Kevin Mulligan, director of Public Works in Greenville, said Cotanche was converted to a two-way street to ensure there is a main North/South entry point into Uptown Greenville after the closure of the intersection of Evans Street and Reade Circle in the next phase of the Town Creek Culvert construction.
Mulligan said the opening of East Fifth Street will ensure a main East/West access to Uptown, while Cotanche will act as a main North/South access to replace Evans Street after its closure.
“That’s (the closure of Evans Street) what really drove opening up Cotanche into a two-way street and we haven’t had any issues with that. It’s been received very well,” Mulligan said.
East Fifth Street is projected to be opened at the end of this week, after the street is paved, according to Mulligan. As previously reported by The East Carolinian, East Fifth Street was initially expected to reopen on July 15.
Mulligan said drivers can take a left or a right when reaching East Fifth Street after using the two-way strip. He said it is undetermined how long Cotanche will be two-way.
There have been no reports of problems with Cotanche becoming two-way, according to Mulligan. He said the city provided signage to ensure drivers do not become confused and striping on the road has been adjusted to two solid yellow lines.
Mulligan said construction at the intersection of Evans Street and Reade Circle will begin around July 29. He said a water main will be installed along the North side of the Evans Street and Reade Circle intersection. Gas main work will happen as well.
Mulligan said Evans Street will be closed for “roughly three to four weeks” and will reopen in late August or early September. Mulligan said there will be a “full closure of Evans (Street)” later this year or early next year as the last phase of the Town Creek Culvert project.
Drivers will still be able to access Evans Street from 10th Street as the construction continues after East Fifth Street is reopened, according to Mulligan. The southern lanes of the road will be open but the northern lanes will be closed.
Mulligan said traffic will be impacted with the closure of Evans, but there will still be various access points to Uptown to ensure traffic flows well.
“Anytime you’re closing a major access point, traffic is going to be impacted but for these three weeks that the north side of Evans is closed, traffic will be detoured to the Cotanche intersection and you’ll be able to get into the Uptown area from Cotanche and from Dickinson, and East Fifth Street will be reopened,” Mulligan said.
Mulligan said students returning for the fall semester will face traffic impacts from the closure of Evans, but those alternate routes will be available.
Brock Letchworth, public information officer for the city of Greenville, said converting Cotanche to a two-way was the best option for keeping a path into the city open and ensuring people have access to businesses in the Uptown area.
Letchworth said there should not be a significant impact on traffic with students returning to ECU for the fall semester and alternate routes will be available.
“A lot of the student population is within walking (and) biking distance. They find alternate means of transportation in many cases,” Letchworth said. “With Fifth Street opening back up that’s one of those alternate routes, that benefits students a lot more to have that open back up because a lot of that student traffic does come from the East.”
Letchworth said it’s important for people to be patient and understand the necessary inconveniences of the Town Creek Culvert project.
“It’s a very large project, it’s going right through the middle of our urban core,” Letchworth said. “Which is not convenient for a lot of people, but I think with some of the issues we’ve had with flash flooding, I think people can certainly, if they keep that in mind, recognize the importance of the Culvert project and why in the end it’ll be beneficial for the Uptown area.”
Sloan Bycura, waiter at Chico’s Mexican Restaurant, located next to the Town Creek Culvert construction on Reade Circle next to Cotanche Street, said business has continued to be steady but there are a few implications the project has caused.
“For the most part we’ve stayed busy,” Bycura said. “The only problem is sometimes the noise from the construction and fewer parking spaces for people to park in next to the restaurant.”