The NCDOT is re-evaluating the highway 105 four lane project because of new traffic data in the proposed area from Linville to Boone.
NCDOT officials received new data in May which shows a lower volume of traffic, compared to figures from May 2005. Project Manager Elmo Vance tells the Watauga Democrat ““In May, we received updated traffic data, and that analysis was significantly lower than the analysis we received back in 2005, now we’re looking at doing other things besides a four-lane in certain areas to improve congestion.”.
Vance did not outline any specific options the DOT is considering because staff is still early in the process.
Vance told High Country Press that with the new data “it brings down the scope or the magnitude that we were initially thinking before. Those numbers have dwindled and will not support the four-lane facility all the way through.” He added that this is “not to say four lanes aren’t needed in areas.”
The project is spilit into two parts:
Section A – from U.S. 221 in Linville to Clark’s Creek Road in Foscoe.
Section B – from Clark’s Creek Road in Foscoe to the N.C. 105 Bypass in Boone
The total project is 14.6 miles with Section A currently not funded or scheduled, and Section B estimated to cost $103 million. Construction tentatively scheduled to begin in March 2018.
Throughout most of the project corridor, a 23-foot wide median will be featured with a minimum right-of-way width variable of 130 feet. The median will be narrowed to 4 feet wide in some areas to reduce impacts but will still feature a minimum right-of-way width variable of 85 feet. Curb and gutter is to be added in some of the more populated areas, according to High Country Press.
It is still anticatped that the bridge over Watauga River will be replaced, along with a turning lane for traffic heading toward Valle Crucis.
By late this year or early 2013 DOT hopes to present its findings to the public.