There will be major changes coming soon to a stretch of N.C. Highway 57 between the Milton and Semora communities in Caswell County. The Caswell County Commissioners inquired about potentially reducing the speed limit for an approximately two-mile stretch of Highway 57, and the idea has been presented to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
If approved by the state, the stretch of N.C. Highway 57 to the immediate south of Dotmond Road will go from a 55 mile per hour zone to a 45 mile per hour zone all the way down to where N.C. 57 intersects with Highway 119 in Semora. There are currently 45 MPH signs posted at the intersection of Dotmond Road and Highway 57, but the 55 MPH zone begins a couple hundred yards to the south, and runs down to the area around the Hamlett Convenience Market, near the Highway 57/119 intersection.
Once the new speed limit signs are enacted, the speed limit along Highway 57 will be 45 miles per hour along the entire stretch from Semora to Milton.
“Some time ago, I was asked to look into Highway 57, and look into the speed limit. The speed limit is between Dotmond Road all the way to Semora,” County Manager Bryan Miller said. “We’ve inquired with the state DOT about that. They do concur with the county’s request to lower the speed limit to 45 MPH. They have to submit an ordinance to the state traffic engineer for approval. Once that ordinance is approved, new speed limit signs will be installed.”
The County has also inquired with the state Department of Transportation in regards to the area around High School Baptist Church in Milton, the intersection of Highways 119 and 57 in Semora, as well as a segment of Shadow Ridge Road in Caswell County.
High Street Baptist Church sits along a precarious bend along Highway 62, not far from downtown Milton. Local officials are working with the NCDOT to figure out ways to improve pedestrian access along this particular corridor.
“There was also a request to look into what was going on at the church there in Milton - High Street Baptist Church,” Miller said. “I did get a response back from DOT about that. Basically what they said is they had been working with the previous (Milton) Mayor, Michael Bryant. I’m assuming they’re working with (current Mayor) John Wallace now on several improvements within Milton. Sidewalks, crosswalks, pedestrian flashers that will improve the pedestrian access on 57 in Milton. They don’t come out and say specifically at High Street Baptist Church. But what they’re doing is taking a look at all that, and let us know what is being done specifically at that church.”
While there have been preliminary discussions about the possibility of a traffic light at the intersection of Highways 119 and 57 in Semora, nothing has been formally planned or appropriated for that particular project as of yet.
“In your discussions with the NCDOT representatives, was it ever mentioned the possibility of a traffic light?” Commissioner Sterling Carter asked the County Manager in regards to the intersection of Highways 119 and 57, where there is currently a flashing red light instead of an actual traffic light.
“I’ve heard probably every year for the last three years a discussion about the traffic light,” Miller responded. “To say it was part of this discussion, I’m not sure. But I have heard discussions about a traffic light. There is talk about that.”
Commissioner David Owen stated that the Commissioners had agreed to send a letter to the Department of Transportation about Shadow Ridge Road in District 1. The county is still waiting on dates from the District Engineer. County Manager Miller responded that DOT responded to the letter, exchanged emails and a couple of telephone calls, and the County is in the process of setting up some dates to discuss this issue.