The N.C. Department of Transportation will present revised plans for widening 2.98 miles of N.C. 115 from two to three lanes with a median in and near North Wilkesboro during a come-and-go public meeting from 4-7 p.m. July 9.

The meeting will be in the DOT Division 11 main office building at 801 Statesville Road (N.C. 115) in North Wilkesboro.

The revised plans reflect changes made as a result of public comments received in a public meeting held Nov. 13, 2018, said Desiree Hagwood, Division 11 design engineer.

The project, identified as R-5759 listed in the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), begins at the N.C. 115/U.S. 421 interchange and ends at the N.C. 115 bridge over the Yadkin River. The STIP is a 10-year planning schedule of state transportation projects.

Hagwood said the process of acquiring rights of way is scheduled to start in November 2019 and the process of seeking construction bids in June 2021. She said a construction period of two to three years is likely, on average. Preliminary STIP estimated costs are $10.1 million for ROW acquisition and $27.2 million for construction.

Hagwood said it hasn’t been determined if the median will contain grass or concrete, but the impact should be improved safety by re-directing left turns. She noted that northbound and southbound lanes of N.C. 115 will both be widened to 12 feet.

She said the project is designed to “enhance both mobility and safety for the traveling public. It is intended to more efficiently manage access onto this busy road, which will result in few crashes and better traffic flow.”

She said the project includes constructing “round-abouts” (similar to the intersection of Edgewood Road and U.S. 421 on- and off-ramps with Oakwoods Road in Wilkesboro) and “bulb-outs” at certain intersections to accommodate left turns. Bulb-outs are semi-circular extensions of the roadway that facilitate turning.

Round-abouts are proposed on N.C. 115 at:

• both ends of the N.C. 115 bridge over U.S. 421. On- and off-ramps to U.S. 421 will connect to these round-abouts. C.C. Wright School Road will connect to the new   round-about on the north side of U.S. 421. Hagwood said plans include adding a second connector road from behind C.C. Wright Elementary School to a point on N.C. 115 north of where C.C. Wright School Road will connect with the round-about;

• the intersection of Speedway Road. Hagwood said that to improve safety at this point, the revised plans call for ending Frog Ridge Road with a cul-de-sac rather than continue connecting with N.C. 115. Frog Ridge Road will still connect with Hunter Road on the other end;

• and at the intersection of Old U.S. 421 and the southern end of Armory Road outside the North Wilkesboro town limits.

Hagwood said the revised plans include bulb-outs for left turns on both sides of N.C. 115 at the intersection of Hunter Road and Eagle Lane and also the intersection of Cedar Lane. A bulb-out is also planned on the south side of N.C. 115 at the intersection of the northern end of Armory Road within the town limits.

She said the plans include building sidewalks along N.C. 115 from the Yadkin River bridge to the intersection of the northern end of Armory Road to increase pedestrian safety.

DOT officials will attend the July 9 meeting to explained the plans, answer questions and hear comments. People can also make comments by phone at 336-903-9101 or by email at rashaw@ncdot.gov, but these are due by July 23.

Hagwood said DOT officials will also meet with Town of North Wilkesboro officials on July 9 to discuss the project.

She said public maps showing the latest design of the project should be available online early next week

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