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Traffic in 2040; New Bypass, Boulevards PDF Print
Written by Steve Frank   
Friday, 12 October 2012 06:07

What will traffic look like in Watauga County in 2040? DOT officials were the main agenda item of an intergovernmental retreat late yesterday afternoon at ASU.  News from that? The NC DOT would like to see a bypass of Boone by 2040 that would take US 421 from the eastern edge of Boone where the new 421 and Old 421 intersect to Vilas, west of Boone.  In addition, 421 would continue four-laned to the Tennessee line—as would US 321—under the plan.  But a bypass was not new news to many Wataugans, Mike Hall telling the gathering that we seemed to miss out on funding for the Daniel Boone parkway, and that we need to not miss out on funding the 421 bypass. Other highlights from the plan; NC 105 bypass would be four-laned and made into a boulevard, the same designation for Blowing Rock Road, with the restricted median turn areas installed. Similar treatment would come for NC 105 through Boone. Even what we know as ‘new 421’ from Deep Gap to NC 194 would need improvement by 2040 with a new median.  And speaking of NC 194, it would be widened to a boulevard—four lanes and a median to Howards Creek Road, with improvements beyond that point mentioned by DOT officials. Also in the plan, extension of Bodenheimer Drive to Homespun Hills, intersecting with NC 105—providing another access to ASU; improvements to Bamboo, Deerfield, and Wilson Ridge roads, with a re-working of intersections, while State Farm Road would be three-laned.  Traffic areas to be left alone? The business districts of King Street in Boone and Main Street in Blowing Rock. Work might ruin the ambiance of these areas.  And for two communities with single-road access, Presnell School Road would be extended for another access to Beech Mountain and Seven Devils Road to NC 105.

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