DOT releases study on proposed U.S. 64 expansion
Posted May 5, 2010 12:15 p.m. EDT
Updated May 5, 2010 7:22 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — The North Carolina Department of Transportation is offering new details on a proposed expansion of a 19-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 64 that would relieve congestion as growth continues in Wake and Chatham counties.
The expansion begins at 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. 64 interchange in Cary in Wake County.
It includes 2 miles across Jordan Lake and is approximately 1,000 feet on each side of U.S. 64.
The DOT's draft study, released Wednesday, details a short-term plan that includes strategies to improve mobility and safety at major intersections.
It also includes a 30-year plan that consists of improvements needed to accommodate traffic projects for the year 2035.
Among the proposed improvements are converting many major intersections to interchanges or overpasses while maintaining traffic signals in highly developed areas.
Cary and Apex residents who would be affected by the expansion have voiced opposition to the estimated $325 million plan, saying it would bring more air and noise pollution to the area.
Businesses in the area have complained they would see a decrease in customer traffic because of an elevated expressway in Cary. The latest study removes that from the proposal.
The DOT maintains that traffic in the area will only get worse without the expansion and that U.S. 64 is a focus because it's another route from Raleigh to Charlotte.
An estimated 54,000 vehicles travel the stretch of highway each day.
The DOT says there is no official timetable for work on the expansion to begin. The project remains unfunded.