The ultimate vision for the US 1 Corridor is to be upgraded to a freeway facility.
Development has continued to occur along the US 1 Corridor since the start of the Phase I study, and in some instances, those developments have impacted the recommendations of two previous US 1 corridor studies. The location and type of impact of these new developments has been cataloged through aerial photography, development proposals submitted to the US 1 Council of Planning, relevant land use development plans, most notably the Southeast High Speed Rail (SEHSR) Draft Environmental Impact Statement, and visual inspection of the project study area. The findings of this effort are summarized in Technical Memorandum #1: Transportation Updates, Table 1 – Land Development and Transportation Changes, as well as in the maps in Appendix C of said document. In general, many of these impacts are minor, and require only slight modifications to right-of-way lines and local road alignments. However, some impacts are more significant. Among the most significant new developments may be the proposed rail right-of-way for the SEHSR just north of Franklinton. For approximately one mile of US 1, from roughly Beechwood Road to Misty Way, the proposed new railroad right-of-way overlaps the northbound traffic lanes of the proposed US 1 freeway layout.
The recommendations of this study will focus on implementation of interim solutions such as superstreets and the re-aligning of frontage/backage roads or local roads.
The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) previously initiated two studies along the US 1 corridor. These studies are referred to as Phase I and Phase II which were concluded in 2006 and 2012 respectively. The Phase I study limits examined US 1 from I-540 in Raleigh to US 1A (Park Avenue) in Youngsville. The Phase II study extended the Phase I study from US 1A in Youngsville to the Vance County line.
The purpose of this current study is to review the findings of the two previous studies and provide recommendations for updating the proposed plans based on development and transportation changes that have occurred since the conclusion of the previous studies. The recommendations of this study will focus on implementation of interim solutions such as superstreets and the re-aligning of frontage/backage roads or local roads.
Since the conclusion of the previous studies, in particular the Phase I study, development has occurred not only along the US 1 corridor, but in areas that affect the previously recommended locations of local roads. The types of businesses spurring the development along US 1 since the previous studies cover a wide spectrum including automobile dealerships, grocery stores, retail stores, and hospitals. As the development has taken place, frontage and/or backage roads were typically constructed helping to achieve the ultimate vision for the US 1 corridor. In some instances, a previously recommended frontage road was actually constructed as a backage road and vice versa. However, as part of upgrading US 1 to a freeway facility, several at-grade intersections have been identified as future grade separated interchanges and development has altered the previous recommended interchange configurations including the alignment of the US 1 mainline. For example, the intersection of US 1 with Falls Of Neuse Road in Wake Forest was previously recommended to be constructed as a single point urban interchange (SPUI). However, a SPUI in this location would greatly impact the recently constructed Rex Healthcare facility in the northwest quadrant of that intersection. Currently, this intersection is being evaluated by CAMPO for a potential different interchange configuration and possibly shifting of the US 1 alignment.
Numerous building parcels are still available along US 1 which will allow development to continue and flourish. During the short duration of this study, we learned of a planned Sam’s Club at Caveness Farms and a Meineke Car Care Center approximately 800’ north of Burlington Mills Road, both in Wake Forest. The development of these businesses will undoubtedly increase the traffic along this segment of US 1 and influence the location of future frontage/backage roads and local roads. There is no evidence that development will be slowing down, thus the vision for the US 1 Corridor will need to be reviewed and revised on a regular basis.
After reviewing the existing changes in development, proposed site plans, and frontage/backage and local roads that have been constructed, several recommendations are proposed for adjusting the location of frontage/backage roads, local roads, or for reconfiguring future interchanges. The list of recommendations is outlined in the following table.
An extensive review of natural environmental resources was conducted during the Phase I and Phase II studies. The environmental resources identified include the following:
Tar River/Tar-Pamlico River Basin
Unnamed tributary of Cedar Creek
Wetlands along Cedar Creek and Tar River
For the ultimate goal of converting US 1 to a freeway and developing the local road network, the two studies indicate the environmental impacts would be minor in the form of routine stream or river crossings to maintain continuity and improve mobility. There is no indication that impacts to the environment associated with the preferred vision for US 1 would be troublesome or unordinary.
A key component of this US 1 Corridor Plan update study was to identify and evaluate intersections contained in the Phase I study limits for interim improvements in the form of superstreet configurations. The 2030 Triangle Regional macroscopic model was provided by CAMPO and Average Daily Traffic volumes (ADT) for the build out years 2015, 2020, and 2030 were returned from model outputs. To determine the location of the key intersections for potential superstreet analysis, a set of criteria was developed to evaluate existing and future data sets. These criteria included:
Main line traffic volumes in conjunction with Level-of-Service (LOS)
High crash intersections
Existing wide medians (>35 feet)
High left turn volume
Roadway segments that fell within the superstreet ADT range with a LOS of D or better were considered for superstreet analysis. As listed in Technical Memorandum #1: Transportation Updates, six intersections were identified for potential superstreet locations. Through discussions with the CAMPO Steering Committee, it was determined the intersections at Burlington Mills Road, Jenkins Road/Stadium Drive, and Holden Road were the best suited for further analysis.
Turning movement counts were available for the Burlington Mills Road and Jenkins Road intersections. Unfortunately, turning movement data was not available to further the analysis at Holden Road. A Synchro microscopic model was created at the two study intersections for the existing conditions, No-Build (signalized) conditions in 2030, and a superstreet configuration in 2030. The following table outlines the results of the analysis.
|YEAR||ANALYSIS||PEAK PERIOD||BURLINGTON MILLS ROAD||JENKINS ROAD / STADIUM DRIVE|
|2012||No Build - Signalized||AM||E||E|
|2020||No Build - Signalized||AM||E||F|
|2030||No Build - Signalized||AM||F||F|
It is clear the benefits provided by a superstreet configuration at these intersections justifies implementation as an interim solution until US 1 is upgraded to a freeway at some point in the future. Although turning movement counts were not available for the Holden Road intersection, it would be reasonable to expect similar benefits as found at the Jenkins Road/Stadium Drive intersection given the characteristics they share.
With the recommendations in the previous section for implementing interim solutions, natural and cultural resources were evaluated for direct and indirect impacts.
Possible impacts include acquisitions/displacements, historic resources, construction, aesthetics, and consistency with local plans. The existing typical section of US 1 at the intersections identified for a superstreet lends itself for easy re-configuration. The wide median can accommodate the construction of left turn lanes, provide adequate storage, and the necessary median cross overs. The existing right of way through the recommended areas for interim improvements provides enough area for the necessary u-turn bulb outs. Therefore, the recommended interim improvements can be constructed within the existing US 1 right of way and do not cause minor to no impacts to natural or cultural resources.
The recommendations, listed in Table 1 – Land Development and Transportation Changes, for the long range vision of the US 1 Corridor does not introduce any new environmental impacts. However, relocation of one future local road has been recommended to avoid impacts to a subdivision that has been built in the southeast quadrant of the US 1 and NC 98 Bypass intersection. The future local road in question crossed a stream in the previous study and it will again cross the same stream in the recommended revised location. The environmental impacts should be similar to those identified in the Phase I study.
Based on the findings through the existing conditions and transportation improvement tasks, the GIS database has been updated to reflect current conditions and identify the locations of the recommended superstreet interim improvements.