The 10th Street Connector, a long-awaited project in Greenville, is now open to the public following its completion in April.
According to Senior Assistant Resident Engineer, Jason Beasley, the opening for the connector took place in late April and he hasn’t heard of any issues or complaints from the public so far regarding the project’s effectiveness.
The purpose of the connector is to help with traffic between East Carolina University and Vidant Medical Center, according to Beasley. He said he predicts traffic on the bridge will vary.
“It all depends on the school (ECU) and the number of students attending the school at one time,” Beasley said. “I think traffic volume will fluctuate depending on what’s going on at the school.”
City of Greenville’s Mayor P.J. Connelly said he thinks the connector will be a useful asset to help get from the university’s central campus to the medical campus.
Connelly said he believes students and residents will find the bridge helpful when traveling throughout the city.
“I think it’s going to be a great connection for people traveling on both sides of town,” Connelly said. “It’s going to create a better infrastructure for people to be able to go back and forth from different sections of our community.”
Connelly said he expects the four-lane highway to open up the community and help with traffic delays in uptown Greenville, which is in close proximity to the university. He hopes the bridge will provide commuters with detours from their traditional routes and save them time while driving.
According to Connelly, there have been numerous positive comments from the public regarding the connector. Connelly said one of the comments which particularly stuck out to him involved a Greenville resident who told him he saved time commuting to work using the bridge.
The resident had posted on Connelly’s social media shortly after the connector was opened to the public, according to Connelly. The resident said the connector’s completion saved him ten minutes commuting from his home to work.
“That’s the intention. We’re supposed to make it easier for people to be able to travel because Greenville is going to continue to grow and we’re going to continue to have traffic condition issues, (and) projects like this will help to alleviate some of that,” Connelly said.
Connelly said he thinks the public is excited to see the connector act as a transformational project which will hopefully generate development on both sides.
“It’s great for Greenville,” Connelly said. “I think it’s going to be another asset in our community to be able to help sell East Carolina University and the city of Greenville.”
As for the impacts on university students, Connelly believes the connector will generate a positive first impression for those returning in the fall or new students visiting ECU’s campus for the first time.
Returning students will be able to come off Highway 264 and use the connector to get straight to ECU’s central campus, according to Connelly.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming everybody back, and we think they’re going to be very impressed with the new project when they come back in August,” Connelly said.
Kyle New, a senior construction management major, said he has already saved time commuting from where he lives near Vidant Medical Center to classes on ECU’s central campus by using the connector.
He said the connector saves him around seven to ten minutes each time he commutes from his house to the university’s main campus or downtown Greenville.
“It’s easier because I can avoid downtown traffic when I’m trying to get home from classes,” New said. “This way I can just take the connector straight to the other side of town and not have to worry about getting through all the congestion.”