RALEIGH TheN.C. Department of Transportationhas collaborated with the North Carolina Zoo and local citizens to improve the proposed Zoo Connector, a section in theU.S. 64 Asheboro Bypass project.
Previously, theMay 2014design public hearing mapjoined the Zoo Connector to N.C. 159 Spur. This brought a major traffic route into theN.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, thenew proposalincorporates aspects of the original and revised designs.
With the exception of two break points, there will be a full-access control (no driveways) two-lane roadway directly to the zoo entrance. A short connector road will provide access from Zoo Parkway to the Zoo Connector and the bypass. The N.C. 159 interchange with the bypass is still being eliminated, and a roundabout is proposed at the Zoo entrance.
The new alignment moves N.C. Zoo traffic away from local homeowners and promotes only local traffic down Old N.C. 159 Spur. The proposed controlled highway (no driveways) will allow for a quicker, safer route and will address significant travel delays and congestion in the area, specifically those heading into and out of theN.C. Zoo.
While environmental studies continue, the NCDOT intends to implement this proposed solution. The Department plans to open bids for the contract in May and award it in June.