Road Roundup: Have your say on road projects

Posted February 11, 2019 11:00 a.m. EST

— We're covering a lot of counties this week in our Road Roundup, but let's start with a lesson in Transportation Planning 101.

Have you ever wondered how NCDOT decides which projects to complete first?

It uses a method called "strategic prioritization." NCDOT analyzes highway, rail, ferry, public transportation, bicycle, pedestrian and aviation projects across the state and assigns each a score. The scores determine the priority ranking of each project as planners figure out how to spend transportation funding.

The biggest projects are in the "Statewide Mobility" category. These have statewide significance, such as new or expanded interstates, airport runways and new highway interchanges. These projects receive 40 percent of the money available for construction and their selection is based solely on the funding formula.

The remaining 60 percent of construction funding is divided equally between smaller projects in two categories: Regional Impact and Division Needs. These projects include more input from local government and the NCDOT division engineers.

NCDOT updates the STIP every couple of years to show the construction schedule and funding for a 10-year period. It released the draft 2020-2029 STIP in January, which you can see here.

Planners are accepting your comments until April 15. You can take a survey online until then or drop by your local NCDOT division office on certain dates.

The N.C. Board of Transportation will adopt the final 2020-2029 STIP plan in June.

Carpenter Fire Station Road project begins in Cary

Crews started work last month on a new section of Carpenter Fire Station Road in Cary.

The town is realigning the road from N.C. 55 to Morrisville Carpenter Road. It's going to a four-lane divided highway with a median and paved shoulders for bikes. The plan also calls for a new railroad bridge along Carpenter Fire Station Road just east of N.C. 55.

Prepare for lane closures along many roads in the area, including:

  • N.C. 55 from McCrimmon Parkway to Morrisville Parkway
  • Carpenter Fire Station Road from N.C. 55 to Morrisville Carpenter Road
  • Saunders Grove Lane
  • Morrisville Carpenter Road from N.C. 55 to Louis Stephens Drive
  • Good Hope Church Road between N.C. 55 and Morrisville Carpenter Road

The closures are possible weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and sometimes on Saturdays.

The $36 million project should be finished in fall 2022.

Changes coming to U.S. 701 at I-95

The NCDOT is planning to replace the U.S. 701 bridge over Interstate 95 near Four Oaks in Johnston County.

The proposal includes a wider, taller bridge at the 62-year-old interchange, as well as roundabouts at two off-ramps and the intersection of U.S. 701 and N.C. 96.

You can learn more about the project at an informal public meeting Thursday, Feb. 28, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Four Oaks Middle School cafeteria.

Right now, right-of-way acquisition could begin in 2020. Construction could start in 2022.

Bridge replacement starts in Moore County

Crews are replacing the Gurney West Road bridge over Dry Creek near Robbins in Moore County.

Smith Rowe LLC of Mount Airy is replacing three drainage pipes with a box-shaped culvert made of reinforced concrete.

The $1.3 million project should be finished in May.