RALEIGH – In response to concerns raised by the community, the N.C. Department of Transportation is taking a new approach regarding the I-440 interchange improvements at Glenwood Avenue and nearby roads, including Ridge Road.
The NCDOT plans to hold a series of facilitated listening sessions in September to hear peoples’ concerns and suggestions as the project moves forward. While the department has always emphasized the importance of public input in developing priorities for every project, the listening sessions included with this project will give citizens a better opportunity for input and provide NCDOT a better understanding of neighbors’ ideas and concerns about the project.
Joey Hopkins, the lead engineer for NCDOT’s Raleigh region, announced this new approach at news conference in Raleigh Thursday.
“During our early outreach efforts, the community shared concerns about potential impacts to Ridge Road and the need to provide input,” Hopkins said. “It is important to us that we collect input and use that to influence the project’s design. This unique approach provides that opportunity.”
The proposed project would address the congestion and safety concerns at both the I-440/Glenwood Avenue interchange and the intersection of Glenwood Avenue and Blue Ridge/Lead Mine roads. Proposed work would also include replacing the bridge carrying Blue Ridge Road over Crabtree Creek, studying potential improvements to the Ridge Road/I-440 interchange, and improving bicycle and pedestrian connections in the area.
Hopkins said information gathered at the listening sessions will be used to develop potential project designs so the community can respond.
“This new approach is unique and provides the opportunity for community members to be involved in an active and meaningful way,” Hopkins said. “Our independent facilitator will provide an environment where every voice can be heard during these listening sessions and we will take this input along with other project information to develop options for the public to provide additional input.”
More information on the listening sessions, including sign-up instructions, will be made available in the coming weeks. Contact and project information can be found on the project’s webpage, and the input portal can also be found within the public input page.
The final project schedule will not be determined until the new community engagement process is underway.