In March 2019, the N.C. Department of Transportation selected a design option called Alternative 7 for intersection improvements to U.S. 401 at Ligon Mill Road and Mitchell Mill Road.
This decision was made based on the analysis of project impacts and comments received from the public, stakeholders and agencies at a Dec. 4 public meeting, various other meetings and a public comment period that ended Jan. 5, 2019.
The next steps for the project are the completion of the environmental document, completion of surveys, preliminary and final designs, and construction.
- Alternative 7 would involve building a "continuous-flow" intersection with Mitchell Mill Road and an "offset tee intersection" with Ligon Mill Road.
- An offset intersection is really two tee intersections – the two side streets intersect with the main road at different points.
In the case of the Ligon Mill/Mitchell Mill Road intersection with U.S. 401, Ligon Mill Road would be realigned to cross U.S. 401 approximately 1,500 feet north of the current intersection, offsetting the intersection of Ligon Mill Road with U.S. 401 from the Mitchell Mill Road intersection with U.S. 401.
The existing Ligon Mill Road intersection would be removed, but portions of existing Ligon Mill Road would stay in place to provide access to properties on the west side of U.S. 401.
- All movements from and to Ligon Mill Road would be accommodated at the new Ligon Mill Road intersection with U.S. 401.
- The existing Mitchell Mill Road intersection with U.S. 401 would remain in place and would be configured as
a "continuous-flow" intersection.
- A continuous flow intersection is one at which left turns from the main road cross over the opposing travel lanes ahead of the intersection and travel on a separate roadway to the side street. The left turns can then move at the same time as the through traffic on the main road.
Traffic wishing to turn left from southbound U.S. 401 onto eastbound Mitchell Mill Road will turn left onto a connector road to be built east of U.S. 401. This connector road would intersect with U.S. 401 between the Mitchell Mill Road and Ligon Mill Road intersections. This connector road would allow left turning traffic from southbound U.S. 401 to turn onto eastbound Mitchell Mill Road at the same time without stopping through traffic on U.S. 401 at the Mitchell Mill Road intersections.
Right turns from westbound Mitchell Mill Road onto northbound U.S. 401 would use the connector road to access northbound U.S. 401.
Left turns from westbound Mitchell Mill Road onto southbound U.S. 401 and right turns from northbound U.S. 401 onto eastbound Mitchell Mill Road would continue to be made at the existing Mitchell Mill Road intersection with U.S. 401.