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Additional Stoplight Coming to Highway 105? NCDOT to Conduct Future Traffic Study

By Nathan Ham

Anyone that has to travel on Highway 105 through Boone knows that there is a lot of traffic and cars are rarely moving at 35 MPH. This can make for some dangerous moments turning onto and off of the road.

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, a new stoplight could be in the works at the intersection where the Appalachian 105 project is underway at the site of the old Watauga High School. The NCDOT will conduct a traffic study on the road once Appalachian State completes the project that will see a big change to the 75 acres off of Highway 105.

“The traffic study would include traffic counts, vehicle delay study, and crash history.  According to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), an engineering study must indicate that the installation of a traffic signal will improve the overall safety and/or operation of the intersection,” said Daniel Adams, NCDOT’s Division 11 Traffic Engineer. “The MUTCD is a national standard that outlines when and how traffic control devices such as traffic signals should be installed.”

Part of the property will eventually be home to three new athletic facilities (track, tennis courts, softball field) and plans for the rest of the property have not been finalized yet. Currently, the property is used for approximately 1,100 student parking spots. The athletic facilities are expected to begin construction on the site in 2021 and are currently in the design phase according to updates provided by Appalachian State.

Adams said that there is no timetable available for when this study will take place.