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Planning and Field Work Starting for U.S. 70 Improvements in Durham and Raleigh

Raleigh - Planning is underway to convert approximately five miles of U.S.70 between Lynn Road in Durham and west of T.W. Alexander Drive in Raleigh to a freeway. The project would improve congestion, travel time and safety along U.S. 70 between the East End Connector (which is under construction) in Durham and Interstate 540 in Wake County.

The freeway classification means there would no longer be driveways or intersections along this portion of U.S. 70. New frontage roads, service roads and other local roadway connections would be evaluated. Access to U.S. 70 would be provided at interchange locations, with the current intersection of U.S. 70 with South Miami Boulevard/Mineral Springs Road/Sherron Road converted to an interchange.

Over the next several months, engineers, surveyors, geologists, and others representing the Department of Transportation will be working on properties within the study area to collect data necessary for the environmental assessment and design of the project. Other state and federal agency representatives relevant to the project may also be with the Department of Transportation staff. The specific area in which these representatives will be working does not necessarily indicate the final location or extent of the proposed project.

These representatives will be wearing reflective safety vests, and will be locating and measuring features such as utilities, property corners, and the limits of streams and wetlands. They will use wooden stakes, and various colors of flagging or ribbons hung on trees and shrubs as part of their work. These stakes and flagging are very important in the planning and environmental project development process, and the public is asked to not disturb these stakes and flagging. The State Environmental Policy Act requires state agencies to consider the environmental effects of certain proposals, document the analysis, and make the information available to the public.

The Department of Transportation is seeking comments about study area features, concerns with roadway travel through the study area, and the proposed project. The information being collected will help to identify important issues, topics, and resources that will be considered as alternatives are developed. The project is in the early stages of the planning process.

Public involvement is an important part of the planning process. The Department of Transportation encourages the public to participate and will consider suggestions and address concerns. Public meetings will be scheduled in 2017 to review potential solutions, and the public will be invited to participate in the process through project newsletters and news releases.

Project information, including a map of the study area, can be found on the project page of the Department's website. For additional information contact Zahid Baloch, PE, Senior Project Engineer, at zbaloch@ncdot.gov or (919) 707-6012.

U-5720

***NCDOT***

4/16/2018 4:30 PM

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