North Wilkesboro - Transportation officials Wednesday announced that 12 new transportation projects in Division 11, which includes Avery, Alleghany, Ashe, Caldwell, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes and Yadkin counties, are in the updated version of the state's draft 10-Year transportation plan.
New projects include:
Widening Connelly Springs Road from the Catawba River to South-West Boulevard in Caldwell County;
Constructing the North Wilkesboro Bypass from N.C. 118/218 to U.S. 421/Dancy Road in Wilkes County; and
Modernizing N.C. 88 from West Jefferson to Warrensville in Ashe County.
The accelerated projects include:
Widening N.C. 105 from Clarks Creek Road to N.C. 105 Bypass in Watauga County by two years, from date to date;
Modernizing Oakwoods Road from U.S. 421 to Main Street in Wilkes County, from date to date; and
Widening N.C. 115 from U.S. 421 to Second Street in Wilkes County, from date to date.
In addition, a project was added to construct a sidewalk network at Northern Hospital from Worth Street to Rockford Street in Surry County.
"We're going to help a greater number of people, and we're doing so on quicker timetables," Division 11 Engineer Mike Pettyjohn said. "These projects will provide the residents of northwestern North Carolina a better transportation system, which translates to improved quality of life."
The plan, called the Draft 2018-2027 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), includes a total of 144 new projects and hundreds of projects with accelerated construction schedules.
The adjustments reflect updated financial information, including projected revenues, and lower inflation and construction cost overruns.
The plan was initially scheduled to be approved by the Board of Transportation at its June meeting, but approval was delayed to allow the department to update the document to reflect the changes.
NCDOT will now hold a public comment period on the updated version of the document. The public comment period will run from June 28 to July 12. Anyone who would like to provide comments should contact Diane Wilson at email@example.com or (919) 707-6073.
The final 2018-2027 STIP is expected to be approved by the Board in August.
More information about the STIP and how transportation projects are funded is available online at ncdot.gov/strategictransportationinvestments/.