The N.C. Department of Transportation updated its plan of projects it hopes to undertake in the next 10 years by adding several new ones, including the widening of U.S. 1 to six lanes in Wake County between U.S. 64 in Cary and N.C. 55 in Apex.
The plan also now includes widening U.S. 401 in Franklin County between Flat Rock Church Road/Clifton Pond Road and Fox Park Road; a regional transit center in Durham County with 10 bus bays and 150 parking spaces; and widening Interstate 85 between Durham and U.S. 70 in Orange County.
The plan also includes the beginning of the long-awaited widening of I-95. The four-lane highway will be widened to eight lanes in two sections: between exits 71 and 81 in Harnet and Johnston counties beginning in 2026 and between exits 22 and 40 in Cumberland and Robeson counties beginning in 2027.
“Widening Interstate 95 has long been a need in North Carolina for congestion, safety and economic development,” said Terry Hutchens of Fayetteville, the Division 6 member for the Board of Transportation. “It is great to see portions of I-95 widening funded.”
Another project that will happen sooner than expected is construction of the I-440 interchange with U.S. 70 and Crabtree Valley Avenue in Raleigh, which will start in 2022 instead of 2025.
The 10-year draft plan – originally released in January – was updated based on new revenue projections, which show NCDOT having $2.5 billion more to spend during the decade than originally thought. That allowed the department to add 144 projects.
“Being able to add these projects and accelerate others aligns with our goals of expediting project delivery and promoting economic growth to improve quality of life for all North Carolinians,” State Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon said in a statement.
The draft plan covers 2018 through 2027, and approval of the plan had been delayed to allow the department to update it.
NCDOT wants the public to weigh in on the plan, so from June 28 to July 12, anyone who wants to comment can contact Diane Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-707-6073.
The Board of Transportation is expected to approve the plan in August.
For more information, go to www.ncdot.gov/strategictransportationinvestments.