18 New Highway Projects for Division 5 in NCDOT’S Draft 2020-2029 Transportation Plan

From the NC DOT:

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation today unveiled its draft 10-Year transportation plan for 2020-2029 at the monthly Board of Transportation meeting in Raleigh. The plan, called the Draft 2020-2029 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), includes 18 new highway projects in Division 5. The division covers Wake, Durham, Franklin, Person, Granville, Vance, and Warren counties.

The department’s 10-year plan is updated every two years. Projects scheduled in the first five years of the plan are considered committed and are not re-evaluated when a new plan is developed, but projects in the final five years of each 10-year plan are prioritized again for consideration in the next plan. The Board of Transportation is expected to consider final approval of the draft plan this summer.

The 18 new projects for Division 5 include:

  • Converting I-40 to a managed freeway between N.C. 54 in Durham and Wade Avenue in Raleigh, with an advanced traffic management system, construction starts in 2025;
  • Widening I-87 to six lanes between U.S. 64 Business and U.S. 264, right of way starts in 2025 and construction in 2028;
  • Intersection improvements for Holly Springs Road at Ten Ten Road, Penny Road, and Cary Parkway in Wake County, construction starts in 2027;
  • Safety improvements for N.C. 98 (Holloway Street) between Junction Road and Lynn Road in Durham County, including widening roadway to add a median, bicycle lanes, sidewalks, transit stop improvements and traffic signals, construction starts in 2028; and 
  • Widening N.C. 56 to four lanes between Peach Orchard Road and U.S. 401 in Franklin County, right of way starts in 2028.

Projects with schedule adjustments include:

  • Interchange improvements at I-440 and Glenwood Avenue, and at Glenwood Avenue and Blue Ridge/Lead mine roads in Raleigh, to allow more time for planning and design and to assist in balancing funds, design-build construction contract to be awarded in 2025.

“Working cooperatively with the Capital Area MPO, Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro MPO, and Kerr-Tar RPO, we are able to use the Strategic Mobility Formula to get much needed transportation projects funded in our seven-county division,” said Joey Hopkins, NCDOT Division 5 Chief Engineer.

The draft STIP includes projects across all transportation modes and in all 100 counties in the state. The list includes 1,266 highway projects, 86 aviation, 235 bicycle and pedestrian, six ferry, 23 public transit and 47 rail projects selected on statewide, regional and division levels. The projects were prioritized based on technical data as well as input from local officials and residents. 

The draft plan includes about 500 changes in major highway projects from the current STIP. Half of the changes include new road projects. In addition, 200 of the projects had schedule changes to accommodate planning or budgeting needs, and 10 projects had schedules accelerated. Another 24 projects on the current STIP didn’t score high enough this time to remain in the new draft plan. A statewide list of these major highway changes can be found on the NCDOT STIP web page.

Projects that did not score high enough in the evaluation process to be funded at the statewide level rolled over to the regional level for consideration. Projects that were not funded at the regional level could still be considered at the division level. This cascading aspect of the process helps ensure that input from local officials and residents plays an important role in prioritizing projects for funding. More information about the STIP and how transportation projects are funded is available on the NCDOT website

Division 5 will host an in-house week-long public comment opportunity in February or March during normal business hours. It will be a chance for interested residents to review maps and handouts about projects, ask questions of local staff, and submit comments. There will also be an opportunity for residents to submit comments online, with those details being announced later.