NCDOT is working on two projects to improve traffic along I-40 at the I-40/I-440/U.S. 1/U.S. 64 interchange. This is a survey to gather information for the projects.
Project I-5701: Addition of lanes on I-40
Addition of lanes on I-40 between the I-440/U.S. 64 interchange to Lake Wheeler Road (S.R. 1370). The purpose of this project is to improve the traffic carrying capacity of I-40. This project is included in the current State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) and has a scheduled construction start date of 2022.
Project I-5703: Interchange Reconstruction
Project No. I-5703 will reconstruct the existing I-40/I-440/U.S. 1/U.S. 64 interchange. The existing interchange operation do not meet an acceptable level of service and operations will continue to decline with the increasing travel demand projected at this location. Reconstruction of this interchange will improve critical traffic operations. Additional right-of-way may be needed, depending on the selected design alternative. Project I-5703 is also included in the current STIP with a scheduled construction start date of 2022.
PUBLIC MEETING SUMMARY
The purpose of the first public meeting on May 9, 2019 was to introduce the “concepts” for Projects I-5701 and I-5703 and allow the public to provide feedback early in the planning process. A second public meeting is tentatively planned for early 2020 where more detailed design and analysis will be presented on both projects.
Five local officials and 113 members of the public attended NCDOT’s Open House Public Meeting on May 9th. Comments were accepted at the meeting and by email and regular mail though June 7th. A survey was also included on the project website. During the one-month comment period, NCDOT received 12 comment forms and 96 individuals took the online survey. Below is a summary of the comments and survey results:
Support for I-5701 (addition of lanes to I-40)
45% Very Supportive
33% Somewhat Supportive
11% Unsure, Need More Information
3% Somewhat Unsupportive
3% Very Unsupportive
Support for I-5703 (interchange reconstruction)
61% Very Supportive
17% Somewhat Supportive
8% Unsure, Need More Information
6% Somewhat Unsupportive
2% Very Unsupportive
Community Resources of Concern
Most Common Comments and Responses
Comment: Other transportation improvements are needed and why are improvements to Cary Towne Boulevard not proposed?
Response: These two projects are specifically planned to address traffic capacity and operational issues along I-40 and at the I-40/I-40/U.S.-1/U.S.-64 interchange. Improvements to Cary Towne Boulevard are not currently included in NCDOT’s State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).
Comment: I need more information/analysis on the project impacts.
Response: NCDOT project consultants are in the process of conducting detailed analysis on potential project impacts and part of the environmental assessment for these projects. Analysis is currently underway on Natural Resources, Community Impacts, Traffic Noise, Hydrology, and Traffic Operations. Additional information will be provided once this work is complete.
Comment: I am concerned about access impacts to businesses, specifically at Crossroads Plaza.
Response: The current exit from Crossroads Plaza to U.S.-1/U.S.-64 is too close to the I-40/I-440 interchange - this causes difficult traffic weaving movements, traffic delays, and safety concerns.
The existing ramp spacing does not meet current engineering standards. The southeast quadrant ramps of the Walnut Street interchange on U.S.-1/U.S.-64 also need to be relocated farther from the I-40/I-440 interchange. This will improve traffic operations and help in avoiding impacts to the existing Walnut Street bridge.
Comment: I am concerned about noise impacts to residential neighborhoods and Lake Johnson Park from these projects.
Response: NCDOT project consultants are currently studying potential noise impacts in the vicinity of both projects, based on NCDOT and FHWA noise policies. They are specifically examining potentially sensitive receptors including residences, recreation areas, parks, and trails. These findings and any preliminary recommendations for mitigation (i.e. noise barriers) will be presented at the second public meeting, tentatively planned for early 2020.
Comment: I am concerned about the ramp relocation at Walnut Street and Piney Plains Road bringing all the traffic exiting Crossroads Plaza down these roadways.
Response: NCDOT project consultants are currently working on a design for ramp relocations that reduce impacts to this area, where feasible. NCDOT is also coordinating with the Town of Cary on this design option.
Comment: I am concerned about the runoff from these projects as we already have drainage issues and flooding in the project area.
Response: NCDOT is familiar with the existing flooding issues in the area. A Stormwater Management Plan and permits per state and federal laws are required for the projects. The plan will be prepared during final design to direct the drainage design and manage long-term stormwater runoff so that flooding is not made worse by these projects.
Comment: Why the need and prioritization of these projects, it seems like there are other projects that are more important.
Response: These projects are included in local, regional, and state plans and are prioritized partially based on the existing and projected traffic volumes in the region. With rapid growth in Wake County, the addition of lanes to I-40 is needed to improve the traffic carrying capacity. The existing interchange does not meet an acceptable level of service and reconfiguration will improve traffic operations.
Comment: NCDOT just finished paving I-40 and there was a great deal of construction traffic, why were these projects not done as part of Project Fortify?
Response: Project Fortify was a critical maintenance project due to the deteriorating pavement on I-40 that was in need of repair. Projects are prioritized and often programmed in phases based on funding availability. NCDOT is aware of the inconvenience that construction projects have on travel time and will attempt to minimize impacts from construction of I-5701 and I-5703, to the greatest extent possible.
RESOURCES FOR PROPERTY OWNERS
Although the N.C. Department of Transportation works to minimize the number of homes and businesses displaced by a road project, it is inevitable, in many cases, that a certain amount of private property is needed. The following information explains right of way acquisition and answers questions about the process.