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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carol Hance heard the radio traffic report and turned her car around and drove straight to the construction site.

Road crews had finally begun to rebuild the intersection where her husband died more than three years ago.

Hance had recruited neighbors, friends and church members to write the North Carolina Department of Transportation to re-route the intersection of Reames Road and Metromont Industrial Boulevard between Old Statesville Road and WT Harris Boulevard in north Charlotte.

It s really been a long time coming and I m finally glad this is happening, Carol said.

She credited the DOT office in Albemarle with drawing up the plans, acquiring small plots of land and finding the funds to re-work the intersection.

Steve Hance was driving westbound on Reames Road to his job at Home Depot near Lake Norman in April of 2008 when an 18-wheeler failed to yield and slammed into the driver s side door, killing him.

Carol studied the intersection and took photos. She researched accident reports and found there had been five other accidents at the same intersection, two of them serious, and one fatal her husband Steve.

Instead of blasting the DOT, Carol Hance did not blame the agency but calmly laid out her case that the road design was confusing. Ultimately engineers agreed.

So when road construction crews began grading the land and putting down asphalt this week, Carol drove directly to the job site and approached several workers to offer her thanks.

I told them this project was really important to me and my husband was killed here and I wanted to thank them for their work, she said.

Carol says it s particularly meaningful to her that the DOT contractor is working this September 2. She married Steve 16 years ago today.

Carol says she ...can t think of a better way to honor Steve s memory.

Full disclosure: Steve Hance was a personal friend of mine.

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