The North Carolina Department of Transportation is proposing to construct a bypass around Asheboro, the US 64 Bypass. As part of this action, the NCDOT also proposes to improve access to the North Carolina Zoological Park (NC Zoo). The project is listed in the NCDOT‘s Draft Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) as Project R-2536.
The new bypass will be a four-lane, controlled-access (no driveways) highway and is 14.6 miles in length. The Zoo Connector will be 1.8 miles making the entire project 16.4 miles. The opposite directions of travel will be separated by a grassy/landscaped median. Total right-of-way width along the new bypass will average about 300 feet, with additional right of way needed at interchange locations to account for the ramps. Interchanges are included at both ends of the project on US 64, and at NC 49, I-73/74 (US 220 Bypass), Zoo Connector, and NC 42.
With the exception of two break points, there is a proposed full-access control two-lane roadway directly to the zoo entrance (the Zoo Connector). A short connector road is included and will provide access from Zoo Parkway to the Zoo Connector and the bypass. The NC 159 grade-separation is being eliminated and a roundabout at the Zoo entrance is proposed. The NC 159 interchange with US 64 was also eliminated.
News and Updates
NCDOT Awards Contract for U.S. 64 Bypass, June 2015
This contract includes construction of the Zoo Connector.
NCDOT has awarded a $244 million contract for the U.S. 64 Bypass including the Zoo Connector in Asheboro. Earlier this year, officials with the department 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 N.C. Zoo via a winding, two-lane road with driveways along the way. After hearing feedback from the community and working with N.C. Zoo officials, the new proposal incorporates aspects of the original and revised designs moving traffic away from local homeowners.
The design of the project, right-of-way contacts and utility relocation can begin on the project as early as June 29, 2015, but most heavy construction may not begin until next spring. The project completion is tentatively scheduled for September 2019.
NCDOT Issues Third Industry Draft Request for Proposals January 30, 2015
NCDOT released an updated map to improve the planned Zoo Connector, a section in the U.S. 64 Asheboro Bypass project. A revised design was presented in May 2014, which utilized part of existing NC 159, between Willow Downs Court and the Zoo entrance. It had no access control on that portion. The NC 159 grade-separation was eliminated and a roundabout at the Zoo entrance was proposed. The NC 159 interchange with US 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 Held May 8, 2014
NCDOT held a public meeting regarding the Asheboro Bypass project on May 8, 2014 at the W. David Stedman Education Center in Asheboro.
At the meeting, NCDOT presented proposed changes to the project, including a modification to the Zoo Connector and deletion of the previously proposed interchange with NC 159. The Department also provided an update on the overall project status.
Project Overview and Purpose
The primary purposes of the proposed transportation improvements are:
- Improve traffic flow and levels of service (LOS) on existing US 64
- Reduce congestion and thereby improve safety on existing US 64
- Enhance high speed regional travel on the US 64 Intrastate Corridor
An additional purpose of the project is to:
- Improve access to the NC Zoo
The project is needed to address the following existing and anticipated conditions:
- Existing and future traffic congestion along US 64 cause significant travel delays, increase the potential for accidents, and contribute substantially to the inefficient operation of motor vehicles.
- Accident rates along existing US 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 US 64 through Asheboro diminish the route’s ability to function as an intrastate corridor.
- Congestion and backups occur on NC 159 (Zoo Parkway) due to local traffic mixing with traffic destined for the NC Zoo. Delays are experienced by zoo visitors, and zoo-related congestion makes it difficult for residents along NC 159 (Zoo Parkway) to access their homes.
- The project is essential to NCDOT‘s plan to upgrade the US 64 and NC 49 corridors from Statesville to Raleigh (US 64) and from Charlotte to Raleigh (NC 49 and US 64).
In May 2004, the Alternative 29 Corridor was selected as the Preferred Alternative for the US 64 Asheboro Bypass. A Design Public Hearing was held in March 2008 to present the final design for the project to the public. Shortly after the 2008 hearing, project studies were suspended due to funding limitations. Project studies were recently re-initiated following a decision to construct the US 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 may reduce cost especially at interchanges; any major changes would require further study.
The proposed improvements to the US 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.
Michael J. Shumsky, P.E.
Design-Build Engineer, NCDOT Design Build Unit
- Email: Contact Us
- Phone: (919) 707-6627
- Address: 1595 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1595
John R.G. Olinger, P.E.
Division 8 Construction Manager, NCDOT
- Email: Contact Us
- Phone: (910) 944-2344
- Address: 902 N Sandhills Blvd.
Aberdeen, NC 28315
Judy Joines (for property impact questions)
Project Manager, Right of Way Consultants, LLC
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: (336) 293-6142
- Address: 3000 Bethesda Place, Suite 504
Winston-Salem, NC 27103
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.