Several segments of road as well as most intersections along U.S. 321 between Hickory and Lenoir are experiencing congestion, and travel demands are not being satisfied in the area. These conditions are expected to worsen as traffic volumes increase in the next 20 years.
To reduce traffic congestion, the N.C. Department of Transportation plans to widen U.S. 321 in this area to six lanes, three lanes in each direction.
Extending 13.9 miles – from just north of U.S. 70 in Hickory to Southwest Boulevard in Lenoir – the proposed project crosses through five cities and towns (Hickory, Granite Falls, Sawmills, Hudson and Lenoir) as well as three counties (Catawba, Burke and Caldwell).
This project is listed as Project U-4700 in the
N.C. Department of Transportation's State Transportation Improvement Program and is funded for $288.3 million.