Two options being studied: $2.4M & $2.7M, with and without roundabout
The N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) is seeking public feedback on some intersection improvements, including a potential roundabout, at the juncture of NC 49, or East Elm Street, and NC 54, or East Harden Street, in Graham.
The N.C. DOT is currently evaluating two competing proposals for this intersection, which it intends to redesign in order to “improve traffic operations and pedestrian accessibility.”
One option that the state agency is considering would:
· lengthen existing turn lanes to accommodate more waiting vehicles,
· add a new left turn lane for southbound traffic along East Elm Street,
· and insert concrete medians at all four approaches
· The DOT’s second option would:
· replace the existing signalized intersection with a “hybrid” roundabout,
· construct a dual left-turn lane within the roundabout for southbound Elm Street and eastbound Harden Street traffic
· and add a right-turn “slip lane” for westbound Harden Street traffic to allow the free flow of vehicles heading north on Elm Street
· Each of these alternatives also includes some common features, namely:
· widening travel lanes to 12 feet as they pass through the intersection,
· the installation of 5-foot-wide sidewalks along both sides of each road,
· the construction of pedestrian crosswalks,
· and the elimination of an existing connection between East Elm Street and Walker Avenue “to reduce vehicle conflicts.”
The DOT has also calculated the potential expense of each option. According to the state agency, the first option has an anticipated construction cost of $1,975,008 and a total project expense in excess of $2.7 million. Meanwhile, the second option is expected to run $1,656,680 for a total project expense of over $2.4 million.
TRADITIONAL INTERSECTION DESIGN
The DOT encourages residents who want to weigh in on this project to send their comments by email to NC54-NC49-Graham@publicinput.com or call 855-925-2801 and enter the project code 8358 to leave a recorded message. The state agency has also posted information about each of the proposed options at https://publicinput.com/NC54-NC49-Graham.
The DOT will continue to accept feedback about this project until May 10, at which point, it will select one of the two options to pursue. In either case, the state agency hopes to begin acquiring right-of-way for the project in January of 2022 with construction tentatively slated to start in February of 2023.