The North Carolina Department of Transportation is constructing the U.S. 64 Asheboro Bypass, a 16.4-mile four-lane highway in Asheboro. It includes a 1.8-mile section called the Zoo Connector, which improves access to North Carolina Zoological Park.
The project is listed in the NCDOT‘s Draft Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) as Project R-2536.
The Bypass is a controlled-access (no driveways) highway, in which both directions of travel will be separated by a grassy/landscaped median. The total right-of-way width will average about 300 feet, with additional right-of-way needed at interchange locations to account for the ramps.
Interchanges are included at:
- U.S. 64 on both ends of the project
- N.C. 49
- I-73/74 (U.S. 220 Bypass)
- The Zoo Connector
- N.C. 42
The Zoo Connector is a full-access two-lane roadway that runs directly to the entrance of the North Carolina Zoo and can only be accessed at two break points.
A short connector road will provide access from Zoo Parkway to the Zoo Connector and the Bypass. The N.C. 159 grade-separation is being eliminated and a roundabout at the zoo entrance is proposed. The N.C. 159 interchange with U.S. 64 was also eliminated.
News and Updates
Small Group Meeting: East End Interchange Revised Design (November 2015)
A small group meeting was held with local businesses and homeowners about changes to the design of the east end interchange.
NCDOT Awards Contract for U.S. 64 Bypass (June 2015)
Earlier in 2015, NCDOT officials worked with the North Carolina Zoo and local citizens to improve the proposed Zoo Connector. Previously, the May 2014 design public hearing map joined the Zoo Connector to N.C. 159 Spur. This brought a major traffic route into the North Carolina Zoo via a winding, two-lane road with driveways along the way. After hearing feedback from the community and working with zoo officials, the new proposal incorporates aspects of the original and revised designs moving traffic away from local homeowners.
NCDOT Issues Third Industry Draft Request for Proposals (January 2015)
On Jan. 30, 2015, NCDOT released an updated map to improve the planned Zoo Connector. A revised design was presented in May 2014, which utilized part of existing N.C. 159, between Willow Downs Court and the zoo entrance. It had no access control on that portion. The N.C. 159 grade-separation was eliminated and a roundabout at the zoo entrance was proposed. The N.C. 159 interchange with U.S. 64 was also eliminated. A short connector road would provide access from Zoo Parkway to the Zoo Connector and the bypass. At least six displaced residents are avoided, as compared to the previous design.
Public Meeting (May 2014)
NCDOT held a public meeting on May 8, 2014, at the W. David Stedman Education Center in Asheboro, where it presented proposed changes to the project, including a modification to the Zoo Connector and the deletion of the previously proposed interchange with N.C. 159. The department also provided an update on the overall project status.
Public Hearing on Final Project Design (March 2008)
Shortly after the 2008 hearing, project studies were suspended due to funding limitations. Project studies were later re-initiated following a decision to construct the U.S. 64 Asheboro Bypass as a design-build contract. Since 2008, the design has been modified slightly, although impacts will not have changed for most property owners. The design-build team may propose alternative designs that might reduce cost especially at interchanges. Any major changes would require further study.
The proposed improvements to the U.S. 64 corridor will involve state and federal funds. Any agency that proposes a project involving federal funds must comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Under the NEPA, an agency must study the adverse and beneficial environmental impacts of alternatives that meet a project’s purpose and need and identify the Least Environmentally Damaging Practicable Alternative (LEDPA). The environmental documents have been completed for this project, and are available by clicking the link below.
Alternative 29 Corridor Selected as Preferred Alternative for Project (May 2004)
Project Overview and Purpose
The primary purposes of the proposed transportation improvements are:
- Improve traffic flow and levels of service on existing U.S. 64
- Reduce congestion, and thereby improve safety, on existing U.S. 64
- Enhance high-speed regional travel on the U.S. 64 Intrastate Corridor
An additional purpose of the project is to improve access to the North Carolina Zoo.
The project is needed to address the following existing and anticipated conditions:
- Existing and future traffic congestion along U.S. 64 causes significant travel delays, increase the potential for accidents and contribute substantially to the inefficient operation of motor vehicles.
- Accident rates along existing U.S. 64 in the Asheboro area are currently above the statewide average accident rates for similar roadways in North Carolina.
- Existing and projected traffic and land use conditions along existing U.S. 64 through Asheboro diminish the route’s ability to function as an intrastate corridor.
- Congestion and backups occur on N.C. 159 (Zoo Parkway) due to local traffic mixing with traffic destined for the North Carolina Zoo. Zoo visitors experience delays, and zoo-related congestion makes it difficult for residents along N.C. 159 (Zoo Parkway) to get to their homes.
- The project is essential to NCDOT‘s plan to upgrade the U.S. 64 and N.C. 49 corridors from Statesville to Raleigh (U.S. 64) and from Charlotte to Raleigh (N.C. 49 and U.S. 64).
Michael J. Shumsky, P.E.
Design-Build Engineer, NCDOT Design Build Unit
1595 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1595
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John R.G. Olinger, P.E.
Division 8 Construction Manager, NCDOT
902 N Sandhills Blvd.
Aberdeen, NC 28315
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Judy Joines (for property impact questions)
Project Manager, Right of Way Consultants, LLC
3000 Bethesda Place, Suite 504
Winston-Salem, NC 27103
(336) 293-6142 or (844) 371-3830
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Resources for Local Property Owners
In many cases, it is inevitable that a certain amount of private property must be acquired. The displacement of homes and businesses is minimized to the extent practicable. The following brochures will answer questions about this process.