With so much growth in the Raleigh-Durham area, the North Carolina Department of Transportation has created in-depth plans for how to handle the increased traffic loads. However, previously agreed upon plans in Durham County and Orange County have been changed, moving away from big highway expansions in favor of more sustainable transportation plans. Our eminent domain attorneys are exploring these path changes and what this can mean for property owners in the area.
New Transportation Paths in Durham County
The Durham-Chapel Hill-Carroboro Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) recently approved a plan that eliminates freeway and highway projects. Specifically, they have eliminated:
- Widening the Durham Freeway
- Converting U.S. 70 to an expressway
- Converting U.S. 15-501 into an expressway
Instead of spending more on freeway construction and expansion, the MPO is focused on more sustainable infrastructure, including:
- Increasing bus service
- Adding rapid transit lines
- Adding bike lanes, crosswalks, and sidewalks
In recent years, the public has pushed for policies and infrastructure planning that would reduce fatal crashes, reduce carbon emissions, and increase access to transportation. These initiatives are designed to meet these goals.
Many are seeing this plan as “transformational” because it’s one of the first of its kind in North Carolina to take this approach to transportation planning. Rather than focus on single drivers and single automobiles, the focus of the MPO is on mass transit and alternatives to single automobiles. However, there are potential conflicts with the NCDOT who has jurisdiction over the highways.
Long Term Road Planning in Raleigh-Durham
Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) were created by North Carolina and are required to publish a new 30-year plan every four to five years in order to get federal funding for road and transportation infrastructure. The DCHC MPO plan was published in conjunction with the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Both plans have similar goals, though CAMPO wants to increase safety for drivers and residents while DCHC is focused on “zero deaths and serious injuries” Additionally, DCHC has no new major roadway projects in the works after 2040.
It’s important to note that this plan doesn’t eliminate all highway projects. In fact, the I-40 and I85 widening projects will proceed as previously planned. Smaller roadway and freeway projects have been taken off the table during planning.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Eminent Domain Attorney
While the infrastructure plans have changed, it’s likely that property owners will still be affected by the need for land. If you have been contacted by NCDOT or by the state regarding using your land in upcoming road projects, we can make sure you get fair compensation for your property. Schedule a consultation with a lawyer today by calling 919-615-2473 for our Raleigh office or 919-365-6000 to reach our Wendell office, or fill out the form below. We look forward to helping you with your legal needs!
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