CHAPEL HILL — Pittsboro Street between Cameron Avenue and McCauley Street, closed in mid-February for emergency utility repairs, reopened to traffic Saturday.
The road, next to the Carolina Inn on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, reopened at midday. Portions of the sidewalks will remain closed until the middle of this week while work continues on sidewalks and surrounding areas. Chapel Hill Transit and Triangle Transit Authority will resume regular bus service on Pittsboro Street on Thursday.
The weekend reopening allowed for the resynchronization of traffic signals and the removal of all detour signs, cones and barricades used to guide drivers and pedestrians during the road closure.
On Feb. 15, engineers checking a utility tunnel that runs under the roadway noticed some damage to the tunnel's roof. Vibration caused by vehicle traffic above the tunnel could exacerbate the damage.
Town and university officials determined that immediate closure was the safest course. Through traffic on Pittsboro Street had been rerouted since.
To protect the tunnel from further damage, a concrete "bridge" was built over the tunnel. The bridge has a gradual approach to allow vehicles to drive over the tunnel safely and at normal speed.