NORTH WILKESBORO – The future N.C. 105 widening project in Boone has been accelerated by two years, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
On Wednesday, the NCDOT announced that new and accelerated transportation projects in Division 11 – which includes Avery, Alleghany, Ashe, Caldwell, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes and Yadkin counties – are in the updated version of the state’s draft 10-Year transportation plan.
The N.C. 105 project, which will go from Old Shull’s Mill Road in Foscoe to the N.C. 105 Bypass in Boone, a full 4.5 miles, was slated to begin in 2019 with the Watauga River bridge to be replaced ahead of the actual widening in 2025. The project is estimated to cost $49.3 million.
“We’re going to help a greater number of people, and we’re doing so on quicker timetables,” Division 11 Engineer Mike Pettyjohn said. “These projects will provide the residents of northwestern North Carolina a better transportation system, which translates to improved quality of life.”
According to the NCDOT’s website, in 2011, the agency studied widening a 14.6-mile stretch of N.C. 105 from Linville in Avery County to Boone. As a result of traffic forecasts that showed the stretch from Linville to Foscoe did not project sufficient traffic volumes to justify work, the project area was shortened to a 5.5-mile stretch of N.C. 105 from Clark’s Creek Road in Foscoe to N.C. 105 Bypass in Boone.
Despite the maps and Wednesday’s press release still defining the project as going to Clark’s Creek Road, the project’s webpage says that “after further studies, the NCDOT cut an extra mile off from Clark’s Creek Road to Old Shull’s Mill Road.”
New Division 11 projects include widening Connelly Springs Road from the Catawba River to South-West Boulevard in Caldwell County, constructing the North Wilkesboro Bypass from N.C. 118/218 to U.S. 421/Dancy Road in Wilkes County and modernizing N.C. 88 from West Jefferson to Warrensville in Ashe County.
Other accelerated District 11 projects include modernizing Oakwoods Road from U.S. 421 to Main Street in Wilkes County and widening N.C. 115 from U.S. 421 to Second Street in Wilkes County.
The statewide plan, called the Draft 2018-2027 State Transportation Improvement Program, includes a total of 144 new projects and hundreds of projects with accelerated construction schedules. It 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 version of the document. The public comment period will run from June 28 to July 12.
Anyone who would like to provide comments should contact Diane Wilson at email@example.com or (919) 707-6073.
The final 2018-2027 STIP is expected to be approved by the NCDOT board in August.