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Harnett Leaders Want To See Highway 401 Widened

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HARNETT COUNTY, N.C. — There is currently an effort to widen Highway 401 in Franklin County. Now, that same cry is now coming from the south in Harnett County.

It is one of the most direct routes from the Triangle to Fayetteville, but some motorists say Highway 401 is not always an easy drive.

"You get behind a bus and you're done for. You've got to wait, wait, wait and you can't pass it because there's so many cars," driver Will Phipps said.

The widening of the 34-mile stretch could cost almost $175 million. Along Highway 401, businesses rely on drivers stopping in. Some believe more traffic could mean more business.

"I think it'd pick up business a lot because it's dead in-between two towns. With that in-between, you don't find many restaurants, so I think it would be very good," restaurant employee Anna Milton said.

While many businesses support change, some are not sure the potential increased traffic of motorists is what they need.

"I would like to see more traffic, but I'd also like to see more foot traffic," gas station employee Andy Houle said. "They don't make it available to walk enough. We need some more sidewalks and crosswalks."

The state Department of Transportation is considering $360 million worth of road projects this week. The proposed Highway 401 widening is not on the list of possible contracts.


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