In addition to widening the road, work involved replacing drainage structures and the sidewalk on Caldwell Street between Probart and West Jordan streets.
Plans also included adequate stormwater devices. Existing drainage pipes and stormwater boxes were replaced to control street flooding.
'Unbalanced Couplet' Concept
The Caldwell Street widening project is a final phase in an overall traffic project called the "unbalanced couplet" – a concept that created two southbound lanes and one northbound lane on Caldwell Street and two northbound lanes and one southbound lane on Broad Street.
Improvements to Caldwell Street were identified in the 1998 Brevard Thoroughfare Plan when NCDOT conducted traffic studies in the community and identified several issues along Broad and Caldwell streets – specifically congestion, a high number of accidents and narrow pavement widths.
The Brevard Thoroughfare Plan, as well as several other subsequent plans, recommended the unbalanced couplet, which was developed in response to NCDOT's suggestion to convert Broad and Caldwell streets into a pair of one-way streets to serve the current and future needs of traffic volume on U.S. 64.
The value of two-way streets has been identified as critical to the economic vitality of downtown business environments, and the city was not receptive to the idea of these major highways becoming one-way streets.
The unbalanced couplet provides progressive traffic signal one-way flow both eastbound (Broad Street) and westbound (Caldwell Street), while providing for one contra-flow travel lane to preserve critical access to downtown businesses.