The North Carolina Department of Transportation has chosen a route for a bypass around Angier which they hope will reduce the growing problem of traffic in the area.
A press release from NCDOT said engineers and planners have chosen a route after reviewing more than 200 comments about the project.
The selected alternative was previously marked Corridor B on maps at last year’s public meeting.
The N.C. 55 route that was chosen would begin just south of Oak Grove Church Road and follow the existing highway north to approximately Ennis Road, then it will go just west of downtown Angier and rejoin N.C. 55 near the Wake and Harnett County line, then follow the existing road north to the N.C. 55/N.C. 42 intersection, near Fuquay-Varina.
The new section of the road will be approximately 11.5 miles.
Land acquisition for the project is scheduled to begin in 2020. Construction should start two years after that.
At this time, funding for right-of-way acquisition and construction is only available from just south of Oak Grove Church Road to approximately Jicarilla Lane.
The plan that was chosen will not affect businesses in the downtown area of town.
Officials estimate any of the plans will cost approximately $20 million to complete.
Angier Mayor Lew Weatherspoon said he will be glad to see the project come to reality.
“The N.C. Department of Transportation has explored three highway options as a way to help meet the traffic challenges of a rapidly growing region. Last fall they had a public meeting to discuss and answer questions about these options,” he said.
“The DOT has decided on which of the three options it believes will best meet everyone’s needs. The option is known as Option B and will flow around the western border of Angier. As with any road project there will be people who are disappointed in this decision,” he said.
“As many will agree, the traffic flowing on Highway 55 business continues to grow resulting in congestion and long travel times. Our opportunity is to work with the community and other local and state governments to build a transportation system which will provide for the reasonable movement of traffic and economic viability for the town,” Mayor Weatherspoon said.
“While this is an NCDOT project, we will try to provide information as it becomes available. For additional information, or questions and comments citizens may contact Ms. Kim Gillespie at NC DOT, 919-707-6023 or firstname.lastname@example.org,” he said.
Two other options for the bypass were considered. One would have been a route on the eastern side of town. A third plan called for widening the existing N.C. 55 in the downtown area. That plan would likely have affected downtown businesses.
The state will hold additional meetings in the fall to allow more public comment on the project.
The project was deemed necessary because traffic flow is predicted to increase in downtown areas of Angier. Currently approximately 19,000 cars a day go through the area. That number could grow to as high as 30,000 by 2040.