I’ve heard that the final project will not be this big and that City officials are working with NCDOT to reduce the size of the project. Is that true?

The Coalition has been told that as well, but the City’s hopes to minimize the footprint of the project really can’t be realized unless and until the City accepts that removing I-240 traffic from the Bowen Bridge is a major reason the project is so large in the first place.  Building a highway is not like building a home where one can easily shift walls and downsize rooms to fit the structure into the home’s lot size and topography.  Highway design is based on standards that have been developed by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).  These standards are based on structural requirements and safety concerns and essentially dictate many of the design parameters of highway projects.  The City’s hope that the project can go beyond just being an I-26 Connector project and create new highways for I-240 and eliminate ALL highway traffic from Bowen Bridge as well mandates a far more complex design that includes numerous feeder lanes, off ramps, and additional shoulder lanes.  Because the City and its designated volunteers have spent decades working on this project without the benefit of involving highway design experts who understand AASHTO standards, they’ve been operating in a knowledge vacuum, and have unwittingly created a sense of false hope for the public.

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