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Originally published: 2013-01-18 11:27:12
Last modified: 2013-01-18 11:32:16

105 widening plans change

Matthew Hundley / (

Plans to widen Highway 105 to a four-lane “superstreet” are being reconsidered based on the newest traffic measurements, according to Elmo Vance, project development engineer on the planned widening of Highway 105.
“Will it be as intense as we originally thought it would be? It looks like it is not going to be a four-lane all the way through. The traffic does not justify that,” Vance said.
In August 2011, NCDOT hosted three meetings to inform the public along the Highway 105 corridor of plans to widen the road to a four-lane superstreet, which required four lanes with broad shoulders and a 23-foot raised median.
At the informational meetings in 2011, citizens voiced concerns regarding the impact on roadside businesses and whether NCDOT had budgeted sufficient funds to adequately compensate those property owners whose land and homes would be caught up in the widening.
The plan, as described in 2011, had two sections. Section A followed the road from Linville to Foscoe, and Section B encompassed Highway 105 the remaining distance to Boone. Section B was slated for the earliest efforts, with property acquisition beginning in 2015. Section A, however, remained unfunded, though the widening extended all the way to the intersection of Highways 105 and 221 in Linville under the previously presented plans.
According to Vance, a new round of traffic volume data may change much of what residents were told to expect in the August 2011 meetings.
“Since 2011, in August, we have gone back and received new traffic data,” Vance said. “Basically, the traffic numbers were much lower than we originally received for our analysis in early 2011. For the section of highway between Linville and Foscoe, that’s Section A, the traffic numbers were much lower, and that section was unfunded. The B section is still funded, and we are currently analyzing the traffic numbers that we have.”
According to Vance, the lower traffic numbers have led NCDOT engineers to consider reducing the size of the expansion. Exactly what those changes will be and which areas will be affected remains to be seen, as NCDOT is still analyzing the newer traffic measurements.
Vance noted, however, that details on the revised plans will be available to the public via a new round of public informational meetings in spring of this year.
“Our intent is to come back out there, in the early part of spring, to let the public know what we have developed since our last meeting in August 2011 based on the new traffic numbers,” Vance said.