A plan to improve the condition of portions of Old Airport Road met with unanimous approval from the New Bern Board of Aldermen at their Tuesday night meeting.

The board adopted a resolution approving an agreement with the N.C. Dept. of Transportation to perform widening, resurfacing and pavement repairs on Old Airport Road between Taberna Circle and County Line Road.

Under the agreement with NCDOT, which owns and maintains the majority of Old Airport Road, the city will assume ownership and maintenance of several sections of the road in return for project funding from NCDOT.

The city will assume ownership and maintenance of a 1.51-mile stretch of road and a bridge located near Evans Mill Subdivision. The agreement states that the city will widen and resurface Old Airport Road within 24 months of approval of agreement with NCDOT, which will abandon from the state road system all sections of Old Airport Road within the city limits of New Bern.

City Manager Mark Stephens said the main problem with the road was its narrow width and the ability of vehicles to safely meet one another, especially larger vehicles such as school buses.

“Creekside Elementary is located on that road and quite frequently in the morning it’s rather cumbersome to pass a school bus on that particular street,” said Stephens.

Under the agreement, NCDOT will pay the city $687,000 for the project once the abandoned sections of road have been accepted by the city.

The board also approved the rezoning of three properties totaling about 5.63 acres at the intersection of Waterscape Way and West Thurman Road.

Kip Peregoy, of the Carolina Colours Association, submitted a request to have the land parcels rezoned to C-3 commercial district.

Jeff Ruggieri, director of Development Services, explained that the areas are currently undeveloped. He said the 2009 Craven County Future Land Use Map identifies the location as an urban transition area that is “highly suitable for urban-type development.”

The C-3 commercial district is established as a district for offices, personal services, and the retailing of durable and convenience goods.

Ruggieri said the city zoning board reviewed the requests and recommended approval.

Stephens said portions of the land would be used by residents of the Carolina Colours community to store boats and other items.

A request to support a speed limit change in the Pleasant Hill community was also approved by the board.

Residents of the community had signed a petition seeking a reduction of the speed limit along N.C. 55 from the N.C. 43 connector to Beaman’s Fork. The area includes a daycare center and a city-owned park with a playground. Concerns had been raised for the safety of residents, children and pedestrians in the area, said Stephens.

The current speed limit along the stretch of highway ranges from 45 to 55 mph. The approved resolution does not list a specific speed designation for the road.

Residents have also asked that NCDOT consider resurfacing the area from the N.C. 43 connector to the end of the city limits in the vicinity of the Clarks community. Stephens said to the best of residents’ recollection the road has not been resurfaced in more than 25 years.

“This roadway has a tremendous amount of traffic on it, not just from your typical commuter vehicles but to and from the quarry site as well as the landfill, which is further up the road past the Tuscarora exit,” said Stephens.

Stephens said the resolution would be forwarded to representatives from the NCDOT division and local district offices as well as the local Board of Transportation representative.

On Monday, the board has scheduled a work session at 1 p.m. at the City Hall Courtroom. The agenda includes a presentation by the UNC School of Government Development Finance Initiative on a potential Urban Redevelopment Area and Commission as well as discussion of Martin Marietta park.