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North Carolina DOT considers Superstreet concept for US 64

By Tom Glendinning
Posted Sunday, August 22, 2010

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Pittsboro, NC - The DOT presentation on the Superstreet concept to the planning board was complete. The timeline is twenty to thirty years for implementation of Superstreet, with long range option to change to a limited access highway, like US 421 to Greensboro. A necessary and needed improvement.

The NCDOT has always been proactive in soliciting public input. Thorough traffic counts are done continuously. For the Pittsboro by-pass project, meetings were held years in advance. One of our former commissioners sat on the highway project board at DOT. What a great highway and relief for Pittsboro traffic it has been. Newcomers do not realize that around half the traffic during weekdays and nights was heavy trucks negotiating the circle, limited to traveling through Pittsboro.

US 64 has always been a major corridor for heavy auto and truck traffic. It is not an alternative. Today, trucks choose it over I-40 to travel from west and south Raleigh to Greensboro. US64 is a preferred route from Charlotte to the Raleigh area. NC 49 is hardly adequate to handle the volume. I-85/I-40 handles flows with different routes. US64 increased traffic flow comes from residential development in Chatham and western wake counties.

An example of a Superstreet can be seen, or experienced, at the intersection of 15-501 and Europa Drive in Chapel Hill, just east of Eastgate. While this superstreet intersection is not a good example at 4-6 PM because of rush hour traffic blocking the turnaround feature, it does work well. It should work very well for rural traffic at the designated intersections along 64. The design alleviates the 'undesirable' cloverleaf and takes less room/acreage along the highway.

The progress of installing this improvement will take many years. The plan states that the timeline is thirty years plus or minus, altered by budget changes and the economy. One stated timeline is 2040. At that time, I will be 96 years old and probably won't give a damn about US 64. Many of the protesters do not take this factor into account. East Chatham will be very similar to Cary at that time, filled with subdivisions and the traffic they bring.

I, for one, am glad that the DOT is planning the improvement so far in advance. A favorite target of many malcontents, NCDOT is a fine department, well organized and well run, right down to the local division that maintains our unpaved rural roads and removes dangerous trees from our byways.

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North Carolina DOT considers Superstreet concept for US 64

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