Traffic

Ten Ten Road could become ‘superstreet’ under NCDOT widening plans

Both options for widening Ten Ten Road would shift the road south at the interchange with U.S. 1, forcing the demolition of the Sheetz and Shuler Electric buildings, seen in red on the right side of this diagram.
Both options for widening Ten Ten Road would shift the road south at the interchange with U.S. 1, forcing the demolition of the Sheetz and Shuler Electric buildings, seen in red on the right side of this diagram. NCDOT

The state Department of Transportation plans to widen a 3-mile stretch of Ten Ten Road near Apex and has come up with two possible options.

NCDOT will present them at an open meeting on Thursday, March 1, in hopes of getting some feedback from the public.

Both options entail widening Ten Ten to four or six lanes, separated by a median, from the Apex Peakway to Kildaire Farm Road. Both would also reconfigure the interchange with U.S. 1. Construction isn’t expected to begin until the spring of 2023, but the NCDOT plans to begin buying property it needs to widen the road in 2020.

The two options for the $54 million project are similar. One is a mostly conventional design, while the other has the characteristics of a “superstreet,” which limits left turns between traffic lights and instead provides places for drivers to make U-turns and backtrack to their destinations.

In general, superstreets are considered safer and help traffic move more smoothly, said NCDOT project engineer Zahid Baloch. In this case, Baloch said, engineers don’t see a big difference in expected performance of the two options, and NCDOT’s choice may be heavily influenced by public opinion.

In both scenarios, Ten Ten Road would be shifted to the south at U.S. 1. Not only will that eliminate a curve in the roadway, Baloch said, but it will allow NCDOT to keep the existing bridge open while the larger replacement is being built. Including turn lanes, Ten Ten will be 10 lanes wide just east of U.S. 1.

Both options also would encroach on dozens of properties to some degree. At U.S. 1, shifting Ten Ten to the south will mean demolishing buildings housing Shuler Electric and the relatively new Sheetz gas station and convenience store.

“That was a big bummer for us. We tried everything to save the Sheetz,” Baloch said. “People really like those stations.”

The alternative, shifting Ten Ten to the north, would not have straightened out the curve and would have required the demolition of another convenience store, other businesses and several houses.

The public meeting will take place Thursday at The Summit Church at 3000 Lufkin Road in Apex, just off Ten Ten Road. The NCDOT will not make a formal presentation during the meeting, but people can stop by at any time between 4 and 7 p.m. to see the alternatives and offer their opinions.

For more information, including diagrams of the two options, go to www.ncdot.gov/projects/publicmeetings/ and look for project No. U-5825, or go to www.publicinput.com/tenten_apexcary, where you can also leave comments or questions.

Richard Stradling: 919-829-4739, @RStradling

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