NCDOT draft plan includes 7 new Division 9 highway projects

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 17, 2019

RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Transportation recently unveiled its draft 10-year transportation plan for 2020-2029 at the monthly Board of Transportation meeting in Raleigh. The plan, called the Draft 2020-2029 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), includes seven new highway projects in Division 9. The division covers Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Rowan and Stokes counties.

The department’s 10-year plan is updated every two years. Projects scheduled in the first five years of the plan are considered committed and are not re-evaluated when a new plan is developed, but projects in the final five years of each 10-year plan are prioritized again for consideration in the next plan. The Board of Transportation is expected to consider final approval of the draft plan this summer.

Among the seven new highway projects included for Division 9 are:
• Building the final segment of the western section of Winston-Salem’s northern beltway, with construction starting in 2029;
• Improving ramps and the intersection at U.S. 29 and N.C. 152 in China Grove in Rowan County, with construction starting in 2027;
• Building a two-lane extension of Baltimore Road and a new interchange at Interstate 40 in Davie County, with construction starting in 2024;
• Widening Piney Grove Road to three lanes between Nelson Street and Brown Road in Kernersville in Forsyth County, with construction starting in 2027;
• Widening Lewisville-Clemmons Road to three lanes with bicycle and pedestrian accommodations between Styers Ferry and Shallowford roads in Lewisville in Forsyth County, with construction starting in 2027; and
• Widening N.C. 65 (Bethania-Rural Hall Road) between Glade Street and N.C. 66 in Rural Hall in Forsyth County, with construction starting in 2027.

“It’s exciting to see the variety of new projects for our area added to the new transportation plan,” said Mike Wells, the N.C. Board of Transportation member representing Division 9. “From the larger roadways to those passing through local communities, these projects will help make local travel safer and more efficient.”

The draft STIP includes projects across all transportation modes and in all 100 counties in the state. The list includes 1,266 highway projects, 86 aviation, 235 bicycle and pedestrian, six ferry, 23 public transit and 47 rail projects selected on statewide, regional and division levels. The projects were prioritized based on technical data as well as input from local officials and residents.

The draft plan includes about 500 changes in major highway projects from the current STIP. Half of the changes include new road projects. In addition, about 200 of those projects had schedule changes for planning or budgeting needs, and 10 projects had schedules accelerated. Another 24 projects on the current STIP didn’t score high enough this time to remain in the new draft plan. A statewide list of these major highway changes can be found on the NCDOT STIP website.

Projects that did not score high enough in the evaluation process to be funded at the statewide level rolled over to the regional level for consideration. Projects that were not funded at the regional level could still be considered at the division level. This cascading aspect of the process ensures input from local officials and residents play an important role in prioritizing projects for funding. More information about the STIP and how transportation projects are funded is available on the NCDOT website.
Division 9 will host an in-house, week-long public comment opportunity in February or March during normal business hours. It will be a chance for interested residents to review maps and handouts about projects, ask questions of local staff, and submit comments. There will also be an opportunity for residents to submit comments online, with those details being announced later.