Project Overview and Purpose
Forecasts show that traffic volumes on a 15-mile stretch of N.C. 150 in Catawba and Iredell counties will exceed the highway's two-lane capacity by 2035.
Planning is underway on proposed improvements – from N.C. 16 Bypass in Catawba County to just west of the U.S. 21/N.C. 150 interchange in Mooresville in Iredell County – to improve traffic capacity and reduce congestion.
As part of the NC. 150 Widening Improvements project, NCDOT is also studying improvements to the I-77/N.C. 150 Interchange.
Proposed improvements include adding lanes, reconfiguring the I-77 interchange, replacing several bridges and other roadway design improvements.
Environmental Assessment Receives Federal Approval
The Federal Highway Administration approved and finalized the Environmental Assessment on March 8, 2016, making way for the N.C. Department of Transportation to seek public input on the project. A public hearing is planned for August 2016, but details have not been finalized.
Proposed Build Alternatives for Further Design Study
NCDOT is currently studying several proposed build alternatives for most of the 15-mile stretch of N.C. 150 in need of improvements. These include:
- Improve Existing N.C. 150 Alternative, which addresses the capacity, geometric and structural deficiencies along the corridor and improves road capacity and reduces congestion.
- Best Fit Alternative, which implements a combination of symmetrical and asymmetrical widening (i.e., widening more to one side or the other) and avoids and/or minimizes impacts to existing land uses to the greatest extent possible.
Two alternatives aimed at avoiding and/or minimizing impacts to the Terrell Historic District, which N.C. 150 passes through, are under consideration:
- Alternative 1, which widens N.C. 150 on the existing facility.
- Alternative 2, which also widens N.C. 150 on the existing facility but incorporates a bypass around the Terrell Historic District, thereby avoiding impacts to the district. This option is being studied in pursuant to Federal Highway Administration requirements.
Also under review is the No-Build Alternative, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act.
Each of the above alternatives will be presented for review and comment at a public hearing in August. Details about the hearing are being finalized.
Several other proposed alternatives have been considered but were eliminated from further consideration because they did not meet the project's purpose and need:
- Transportation Demand Management Alternative
- Transportation System Management Alternative
- Mass Transit Alternative
STIP Project Addition and Proposed Project Revision
Improvements to the I-77 interchange (identified in the State Transportation Improvement Program as project I-5717) are now part of the N.C. 150 Widening Improvements project (STIP R-2307).
NCDOT is studying the I-77 Interchange improvements in conjunction with the N.C. 150 improvements.
The environmental assessment, approved in March 2016, covers both projects since they are adjacent and because it would be practical to develop the interchange modifications in coordination with the proposed N.C. 150 improvements. A single environmental assessment also ensures a coordinated design along the N.C. 150 corridor from the N.C. 16 Bypass to just west of the U.S. 21/N.C. 150 interchange in Mooresville.
NCDOT conducted a planning, environmental and engineering study for the proposed project in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and the Federal Highway Administration's Guidance for Preparing and Processing Environmental and Section 4(f) documents.
A traffic safety analysis by NCDOT's Safety Planning Group in June 2011 found that crash rates on the 15-mile stretch of N.C. 150 exceed the statewide crash rates in the total non-fatal injury and wet categories and exceed critical crash rates in the total and non-fatal injury categories.
A report on the traffic safety analysis concluded that a divided roadway with a raised median "should potentially reduce frontal impact crashes along the corridor." The report also recommended that a driveway access review be conducted to determine if driveways can be closed or combined to reduce conflict points.
A traffic forecast completed in September 2013 found that:
- N.C. 150 traffic volumes exceeded two-lane capacity between Sherrill's Ford Road and the I-77 Interchange commercial district
- N.C. 150 traffic volumes west of Sherrill's Ford Road are projected to exceed capacity between 2015 and 2020Transportation System Management Alternative
- The projected length of N.C. 150 will exceed two-lane capacity by 2035
|Finding of No Significant Impact
|Begin right of way Acquisition
|* Based on 2016-2025 State Transportation Improvement Program; dates subject to change
Karen S. Reynolds
Project Planning Engineer
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1548 Mail Service Center
Raleigh NC 27699-1548
Bryan C. Key, P.E.
Roadway Design Engineer
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1582 Mail Service Center
Raleigh NC 27699-1582
Larry Carpenter Jr., P.E.
Division Construction Engineer
Highway Division 12
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P.O. Box 47
Shelby, NC 28151-0047
Resources for Local Property Owners
In many cases, it is inevitable that a certain amount of private property must be acquired. The displacement of homes and businesses is minimized to the extent practicable. The following brochures will answer questions about this process.