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State soliciting feedback on Highway 64 superstreet

Posted July 16, 2009

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— A community meeting is scheduled Thursday evening to discuss a state Department of Transportation proposal to expand a stretch of U.S. Highway 64.

The meeting is from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Green Hope High, 2500 Carpenter Upchurch Road in Cary.

The 19-mile project runs from the U.S. 64 Business/U.S. 64 Bypass Interchange, east of Pittsboro in Chatham County, and extends east to the U.S. 1/U.S. Highway 64 interchange in Cary in Wake County.

Community meeting planned on U.S. 64 plan DOT seeks 'balanced solution' for Highway 64

The two-phase plan calls for first, restricting left turns and putting in U-turns for better traffic flow over the course of five to 10 years. This would transform sections of 64 into what's called a "Superstreet," utilizing "Michigan left" turns.

The concept was first used in Detroit and essentially eliminates left turns at intersections. Michigan left turns instead call for drivers desiring to make a left turn to first turn right and then drive down to a make a U-turn in the median.

Department of Transportation engineers say the design is safer and avoids more costly expenses associated with widening a road.

The second phase would turn a two-mile stretch from U.S. 64/U.S. 1 in Cary to Laura Duncan Road in Apex into an elevated highway. Interstate traffic would flow on the top road, with local access on a road underneath. It would take an additional 10 to 25 years to complete.

In the long-term, officials hope to create a bicycle and pedestrian trail from west of the Haw River in Pittsboro across Jordan Lake to Apex. This trail would connect to the American Tobacco Trail.

Cary resident Danny Epstein is leading the charge against the project.

“When we found out, we were kinda outraged,” Epstein said.

Epstein and other local residents and business owners have gathered petition signatures at grocery stores and online at the Web site Save64.org in an effort to stop the project.

“The community has a right to control how community is going to be reshaped,” Epstein said.

Epstein is concerned about the project’s vision for U.S. 64 from the U.S. 1 interchange in Cary through Apex. He said the project is just going to bring “more traffic into the area” and make it harder to get to local businesses.

Dave Wasserman, a DOT project engineer, said the project was an effort to “develop a master plan to guide growth and development along this corridor.” They have been studying increased traffic and crashes associated with steady growth in the Apex and Cary area.

A team of DOT staff and Apex, Cary, Wake County and Chatham County officials developed the plan, but it has no sources of funding. The DOT said a rough estimate would be about $400 million but that the cost would likely change.

While there is no money identified, now is the time for the public to influence the plans. If funding is approved for any of the short-term improvements, detailed designs will be developed and an additional public meeting will be held before any construction begins.

"This is one of the better solutions out there," Wasserman said in June. He said that traffic in the area will only get worse and that it is focusing on U.S. 64 between Cary and Pittsboro because it is another route from Raleigh to Charlotte.

Check out the plans and the Question and Answer section at http://www.ncdot.gov/doh/preconstruct/tpb/SHC/studies/US64/.

30 Comments

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  • RLW Jul 16, 2009

    "IF it is such a good idea, why not do it on Capital Blvd?"

    The DOT is attempting to prevent what has already happenend on Capital Blvd. However, there is a long-term LONG-TERM, plan to upgrade US 1 north of I540. http://www.ncdot.gov/doh/preconstruct/tpb/SHC/studies/US1/

    Ultimately,m it is up to the department to develop long-term improvements way in advance of the problem becoming an immediate need. The environmental planning portion is a long drawn out process due to the numerous laws and regulations protecting the environment. The US64 study...is a long-term study. No construction plans have been developed, no EISs, no right of way or construction money. As southeastern Wake continues to grow and places like Apex are continually named the best place to live, the need for upgrading US 64 will become more evident.

  • Bendal1 Jul 16, 2009

    Guys, this project is being conducted by the people who's job is to think far ahead for what the roads will ultimately need to look like. No one's planning on turning US 64 into a freeway right now or even in the next 20 years; it's a goal, a plan to keep in mind if improvements are done to the road in the near future.

    The only money being planned for spending is the superstreet interim plan, which won't cost much to implement and will help make the intersections both safer and less congested.

  • ORMA Jul 16, 2009

    NCDOT can't even afford to complete current projects. How can they be looking to cough up more money to sart yet another one?

  • Chatham Adam Jul 16, 2009

    demo7691, what's wrong is the premise of your question.

    In Tennessee, and in most neighboring states, secondary roads are the responsibilities of the counties, which tax their property owners to keep them up. Here, the state maintains secondary roads, mainly through the gas taxes. If you truly think Tenn has better roads (which is whacked), move on over there and enjoy your property tax levies. Enjoy their lousy university system and public school systems, too.

  • NCPACKER Jul 16, 2009

    MOre wasteful govt spending by DOT! Does DOT stand for Dumb Organizing Tactics? Hellooooo Raleigh-Durham doesn't have a ton of traffic. All these new roads are not yet needed! Gheez!

  • Bendal1 Jul 16, 2009

    demo7691,

    TN has some of the worst roads I've seen once you get off the state maintained ones. All the little secondary roads are maintained by the county, and if the county's poor then they don't do anything at all to keep them well maintained.

    I grew up in TN so I know all about how they handle their roads. Narrow little shoulders, potholes that they throw a little gravel in annually, no guardrail, old bridges, yeah, their roads are really great.

  • me2you Jul 16, 2009

    I don't see any reason to focus on 64 until the problems with I40 are fixed. Biggest convaluted mess I've ever seen. AND until those in DOT are trained not to mess things up like they are now in the triangle, then they shouldn't be allowed to make any more plans elsewhere... e.g. the beltline with all of it's bottlenecks and crazy exits.

  • jsnichol Jul 16, 2009

    I drive on 64 a lot! There is not enough traffic to warrant any work. In 30 years, if that area doubles, it will not warrant expansion.

    Maybe we should tax leaisure activities!!! lol I can't believe you people vote for these fools.

  • demo7691 Jul 16, 2009

    Whats wrong with this picture. TN has less taxes and better roads. NC has more taxes and cant fill pot holes. Stop giving our money to everyone with a hand out politicians.

  • demo7691 Jul 16, 2009

    Oh yeah thats the good old NCDOT wasting money we dont have to talk about wasting money we wont have over some idea that comes from Michigan. Yeah thats exactly what we need here.

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