State transportation officials announced Wednesday four new highway projects in Division 8, which includes Chatham, Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph, Richmond and Scotland counties, are in the updated version of the state’s draft 10-year transportation plan.
New projects for the area include:
The Interstate 73/74 Rockingham Bypass in Richmond County. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2026; and
Widening N.C. 78 (Tramway Road) between U.S. 1/U.S. 15-501 and Lemon Springs Road in Lee County to a multi-lane, divided corridor.
Accelerated projects include:
Widening of N.C. 211 between Holly Grove School Road and N.C. 73 in Moore County will begin in 2020 instead of 2022; and
Widening of U.S. 64 between Lake Park Road and the Asheboro Bypass in Randolph County will begin in 2023 instead of 2027.
The transportation plan also calls for adding bicycle lanes and improving pedestrian crosswalks along Carthage Street in downtown Sanford, beginning in 2021.
Patrick D. Molamphy, a member of the N.C. Board of Transportation for Division 8, said the Rockingham Bypass is an important link for completing the Interstate 73/74 corridor. Rockingham’s former long-term mayor, Gurney “G.R.” Kindley, first touted the need for the new interstate and bypass in the early 1990s when he was on the state Board of Transportation.
“Adding the Rockingham Bypass is very important to the region,” Molamphy said. “Right now, that is one of the missing links to getting the I-73/74 completed.”
Brandon Jones, the Division 8 Engineer for NCDOT, said the state wants to widen N.C. 211 before the U.S. Open comes to Pinehurst in 2024.
“We’re glad we will be able to accelerate this project to better accommodate the influx of visitors and tourists the golf tournament will bring,” Jones said.
The long-range plan, called the Draft 2018-2027 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), includes a total of 144 new projects statewide and hundreds of projects with accelerated construction schedules. The adjustments reflect updated financial information, including projected revenues and lower inflation and construction cost overruns.
“Being able to add these projects and accelerate a variety of projects across the state aligns with our goals of expediting project delivery and promoting economic growth to improve quality of life for all North Carolinians,” said State Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon.
The plan was initially scheduled to be approved by the Board of Transportation at its June meeting, but approval was delayed to allow the department to update the document to reflect the changes.
NCDOT will now hold a public comment period on the updated plan from June 28 to July 12. Anyone who would like to provide comments should contact Diane Wilson at [email protected] or (919) 707-6073.
The final 2018-2027 STIP is expected to be approved by the N.C. Board of Transportation in August.
More information about the STIP and how transportation projects are funded is available online at ncdot.gov/strategictransportationinvestments/.