NCDOT Project Watch List

Transportation in all of its forms is crucial to any place. From motor vehicles to cycling to transit, the way people move around Durham will have to grow and evolve quite a bit in the coming years.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is very upfront about projects that they are working on and considering. Today, I wanted to highlight a few projects that the NCDOT is considering in and around the downtown area.

A few notes on this list:

  • These are street improvement projects that are under consideration. They have not been confirmed yet and there is still a lengthy process for prioritizing them.
  • These are only NCDOT projects. Roads that are owned by the city of Durham would not be included in this.

All of that said, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at some of the potential projects and get a sense of the overall direction NCDOT is looking at.

Roundabout at Durham Freeway @ Elba St/Trent Dr

Project Description: Improve ramps by tying them into a roundabout with Elba Street and Trent Drive.
Projected Cost: $1.8 million
Comments: I am in favor of roundabouts and one that connects to a Durham Freeway onramp might be interesting. I don't know much about onramps that connect directly with onramps, but I do know that this intersection is fairly confusing as it currently stands.

Bike Lanes on W. Club Blvd

Project Description: Construct bicycle lanes on both sides of the street and improve intersections for bicycle and pedestrian crossings.
Projected Cost: $1.8 million
Comments: Great to see that NCDOT is considering adding bike lanes on W. Club Blvd. These would extend from Washington to the Ellerbe Creek Trail.

Bike Tunnel @ American Tobacco

Project Description: Construct tunnel underneath NCRR. Extend path to connect American Tobacco Trail to Downtown Durham and future Duke Belt Line Trail.
Projected Cost: $9.7 million
Comments: This project would be really cool to see happen! It would show a real commitment to bicycle infrastructure in the area. It has a high price tag, though, so we will see what comes of it.

Convert Downtown Loop to 2-Way Street

Project Description: Convert the Downtown Loop from one-way to two-way traffic
Projected Cost: $15.1 million
Comments: I had no idea converting the downtown loop would be that much more expensive than a bicycle tunnel. Regardless, this has been a conversation for quite a while now. I predict that it happens, but it could take many years.

Neighborhood Transit Center at N Miami and Raynor

Project Description: Design and Construction of NTC: Village Neighborhood Transit Center. Serves GoDurham routes 2B, 3, 3B, 3C
Projected Cost: $100,000
Comments: At a cost of only $100k, I doubt this will be as big as it sounds as a "Transit Center". However, transit infrastructure improvements in East Durham are a good thing!

East Durham/Wellons Village Bike/Pedestrian

Project Descriptions: Construct sidewalks and bike lanes on Hardee Street, construct sidewalks on Cheek Road. Construct sidewalk on Raynor St.
Projected Cost: $5.8 million
Comments: This project covers a pretty large section of road. Straightforward sidewalks and bike lanes, but would be a great connection to the Neighborhood Transit Center listed above.

Lakewood/Forest Hills Bike/Pedestrian

Project Descriptions: Construct sidewalks along entire length and bicycle lanes where needed. Improve current bicycle lanes and intersection crossings.
Projected Cost: $12.5 million
Comments: This is a HUGE area for improving bike and pedestrian facilities. It is technically split into three projects, but all total it costs over $12 million. However, NCDOT showing a commitment on Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd would be fantastic. I would love to be able to go to Foster's for dinner and then safely walk to Guglhupf for a drink.

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