Project Overview and Purpose
Planning is underway to convert approximately 5 miles of U.S. 70 – from Lynn Road in Durham to west of T.W. Alexander Drive in Raleigh – to a freeway.
Doing so would improve the connection between the East End Connector (currently under construction) in Durham and I-540 in Wake County.
The project would also improve traffic congestion, travel time and safety along U.S. 70.
Access to U.S. 70 would be provided at interchange locations. The intersection of U.S. 70 with South Miami Boulevard/Mineral Springs Road/Sherron Road would be converted to an interchange. The freeway classification means that there would no longer be driveways or intersections along this portion of U.S. 70 and new frontage roads, service roads or other local roadway connections would be evaluated.
The proposed project is being developed in conjunction with additional proposed improvements to U.S. 70 between Brier Creek Parkway and T.W. Alexander Drive in Raleigh.
The project would be completed in four sections:
Section A – Lynn Road in Durham to South Miami Boulevard
Section B – South Miami Boulevard interchange
Section C – South Miami Boulevard to Leesville Road
Section D – Leesville Road to T.W. Alexander Drive
Improvements could include a median-divided roadway with four or six lanes and the potential for U.S. 70 to have a posted speed limit of 60 mph.
The current State Transportation Improvement Program includes right of way and construction funding for Sections A and B.
At this time, funding is listed after 2025 for Sections C and D. However, the STIP is updated every two years and funding could be allocated in future updates.
All sections will be included in an Environmental Assessment – a State Environmental Policy Act document that evaluates the environmental effects of a project.
Environmental Planning Underway
This project is in the early stages of the planning process and a comprehensive public involvement program is being developed. Input from the public is important and will be collected and addressed throughout development of the project.
Environmental planning is underway, and representatives of NCDOT and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may be present on properties in the project study area for the purposes of conducting or verifying the limits of streams and wetlands.
In October 2016, NCDOT sent notices to landowners in the study area informing them of the fieldwork.
The study area surrounding U.S. 70 is outlined in red on the vicinity map. The study area represents the location of fieldwork to identify environmental resources. It does not represent property to be purchased to construct the project.
These representatives will be wearing orange safety vests, have picture identification badges and will be hanging pink and black flagging tape, or ribbons, on trees and shrubs to identify the limits of streams and wetlands, if present, on the property. This flagging does not indicate the location of the proposed transportation project, but it is critical in the environmental review process. It is important that the flagging remain in place during the study.
2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan
The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization jointly developed a 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan. This plan identifies the U.S. 70 project as regionally significant and describes it as a six-lane freeway facility.
Durham Comprehensive Transportation Plan
The Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization and NCDOT are developing a Comprehensive Transportation Plan. The DRAFT Comprehensive Transportation Plan (June 20, 2016) identifies U.S. 70 as a freeway.
|Start of study
|Meeting with local officials
|State Environmental Assessment completed
|Final Environmental Decision Document approved
|Right of way acquisition begins
(Sections A & B)
(Sections A & B)
* Future dates are preliminary and subject to change
Zahid Baloch, P.E.
NCDOT Division 5 Senior Project Engineer
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Resources for Local Property Owners
Although the N.C. Department of Transportation works to minimize the number of homes and businesses displaced by a road project, it is inevitable, in many cases, that a certain amount of private property is needed. The following information explains right of way acquisition and answers questions about the process.