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NCDOT Still Sorting Through Public Comments About Highway 105 Superstreet Plan

By Nathan Ham

The North Carolina Department of Transportation received a lot of public feedback from residents, business owners and town officials about the proposed Highway 105 Superstreet.

Boone Town Manager John Ward spoke briefly at the Boone Town Council Meeting on November 15 about attending a High Country Council of Governments Rural Transportation Coordinating meeting last Tuesday.

“There had been such numerous comments submitted that they (NCDOT) extended the comment period until November 7. What they’re currently doing is they’re going through and assessing all of those and they reported back that once they had completed the assessment of all the public comments, they were going to identify those portions of the project that could be redesigned, initiate that redesign and bring that back for public review and coordination with the two elected bodies of the town council and county commission,” said Ward.

Ward said that the town council’s resolution as well as the public comment influenced the NCDOT to consider redesigning that section of road.

Ward did not have an exact date on when the NCDOT review will be completed or when any potential changes would be presented.

The initial Superstreet proposal for Highway 105 was released in late September, drawing a lot of questions and concerns from area businesses and residents.

According to the NCDOT, the purpose of most any Superstreet project is to alleviate traffic congestion while also improving travel conditions and limiting the number of “conflict points” between vehicles. This is done by limiting the number of left turns which the NCDOT feels will make it easier and more efficient traveling through intersections.

At the first public meeting held on October 9, Aileen Mayhew, a consultant for this project, said that the high traffic volume on Highway 105 made it a perfect location for a Superstreet to improve traffic flow and make it safer.

“This corridor has a lot of traffic. The average in 2009 was 26,000 cars (per day), which increased by 2016 to 32,000 cars,” she said. “There was a study done in North Carolina from 1998 through 2012 that showed a 59 percent reduction in total crashes and a 71 percent reduction in fatal injuries by installing a Superstreet.”