The congestion and safety needs on U.S. 15-501 and U.S. 1 were first identified in 2011 as part of the Moore County Comprehensive Transportation Plan process, which involved nearly 500 members of the public who
provided detailed input about five focus areas in Moore County, including the U.S. 1 corridor through Southern Pines and Aberdeen.
Based on local input from the 2011 meetings, as well as safety and congestion concerns, North Carolina and local agencies in 2015 prioritized the U.S. 15-501 and U.S. 1 corridors for state funding.
Following coordination with the town of Aberdeen, NCDOT has segmented the U.S. 1 corridor into two phases. Construction of the section south of Knight Street will be delayed until 2027. The section north of Knight Street will move forward on the current schedule, with construction to begin in 2020.
Traffic studies examined several potential solutions for the U.S. 1 and US 15-501 corridors. Based on traffic projections, a four-lane
is anticipated to operate at acceptable levels of service until approximately 2035 on U.S. 1, and until approximately 2040 on US 15-501.
The studies found that after 2035 on U.S. 1, and after 2040 on U.S. 15-501, the levels of service would degrade due to increased congestion. At that point, a six-lane Synchronized Street would be needed to handle traffic volumes, unless another alternative is identified
In an analysis of data from October 2009 to December 2016, the
crash rate on U.S. 1 in the study area was 463.8, and the crash rate for U.S. 15-501 in the same vicinity was 643.4.
The statewide average critical crash rate is 307.2 per 100 million miles traveled.
In June 2017, NCDOT Division 8 engineers and consultants met with the town officials of Aberdeen and Southern Pines to review the project, answer questions and research and evaluate issues raised by the towns. The department then held a public meeting on Sept. 18, 2017 in Aberdeen to explain the project and its benefits and collect feedback from interested citizens.
NCDOT sought public comments is seeking public comments on the project on the preliminary design until Oct. 20, 2017.
The project team has completed reviewing the comments, which included those collected from an online questionnaire. The final designs are almost complete.