The new Pickle Road connecting N.C. Highway 55 and Talton Drive for big rig truck traffic is open, and work has begun at the pickle plant for a truck staging area.
The site plan for the staging area located on Talton Drive has been approved by town officials.
It calls for parking to handle 60 big rigs, weight scales, restrooms and refrigeration hookups.
Plans for the new road and staging area is a pickle company project to help eliminate big truck traffic on Breazeale Avenue, Church Street, and Park Avenue.
Officials say approximately 50,000 tractor-trailer trucks come in to pickle company warehouses and its distribution center each year.
Town Manager Charles Brown said there has been a lot of interest recently from the trucking industry about the new road and the planned staging area.
All the information about the new route has been forwarded to the county to get an official address assigned for the new road, and to have it added to GPS systems to help truckers navigate when coming to Mount Olive and the pickle plant, Brown said.
The town manager said the pickle company is moving quickly on constructing the staging area and it has attracted a lot of attention.
“I have had a number of people calling who want to know what is going on with it,” he said. “This is a great solution to a major problem in the trucking industry, because truckers have to adhere to strict regulations concerning how long they can stay on the road before being required to park and sleep.”
Currently, truckers are often parking in a shopping center here to meet sleep regulations, he added.
The big issue is that most town streets are not designed to handle big truck traffic.
Truckers have become lost on some streets, and some of their maneuvers have led to downed utility poles and fire hydrants.
The pickle company’s staging area will eliminate that problem, Brown said. No timeline has been given on when the staging area will be complete and open.