Purpose & Need Statement
As part of the proposed project to upgrade the U.S. 117 corridor near Goldsboro, the N.C. Department of Transportation’s project team is working on a Purpose & Need Statement, a document required both under state law and as part of the project development process. The statement, which is currently under review is as follows:
The draft purpose for the project is to enhance north-south mobility in the region by completing the I-795 freeway connection between I-40 and I-95. The freeway connection would provide a high-speed roadway with full control of access within the U.S. 117 Corridor. Full control of access means vehicles can only get on a roadway at interchanges.
Additional benefits of the project include a reduced potential for crashes due to the elimination of driveways, intersections and railroad crossings and fulfilling the Strategic Transportation Corridor vision.
U.S. 117 is a designated Strategic Transportation Corridor and is an important part of the Strategic Highway Network. The roadway serves both local and regional traffic, including commuters.
Because there is no freeway connection from I-795 to I-40, the ability to efficiently move people and goods safely through the area is impeded for roadway users.
Other transportation concerns that contribute to decreased mobility along the corridor are:
Approximately 100 driveways, 35 intersections and two railroad crossings
High truck volumes between I-40 and I-795
Crash rates exceed the statewide average crash rate for roadways with a similar number of lanes and traffic volumes
Traffic congestion at several intersections during peak travel times
Project development and environmental studies are underway. The study area for the project, as outlined in red on the project vicinity map is subject to change as the planning process progresses.
Although the entire project will be addressed in the environmental studies and future designs, roughly 7 miles (from Country Club Road to Genoa Road in Wayne County) is currently funded for construction.
The schedule for unfunded sections of the project will be determined based on future updates to the State Transportation Improvement Program, which occurs every two years. The project is expected to be financed through state funds.