Construction on a massive $152 million road project to widen N.C. 211 between Aberdeen and Raeford to a four-lane divided highway is set to begin in 2022.
The state Department of Transportation has scheduled two public meetings in July, in advance of the project. The public and those interested are encouraged to attend a drop-in information session on:
- Tuesday, July 23, 2019 (4 – 7 p.m.) at West Hoke Middle School Gymnasium, 201 Aberdeen Rd, Raeford; and
- Thursday, July 25, 2019 (4 – 7 p.m.) at Aberdeen Elementary School Cafeteria, 503 N. Sandhills Blvd, Aberdeen.
At these meetings, project staff will be available to answer questions, review the preliminary designs, and receive feedback. Please note there will be no formal presentation. The opportunity to submit comments will be provided at the meeting or may be done via phone, email, or mail by August 12, 2019.
As information and maps become available, they may be viewed at the R-5709 project website: https://publicinput.com/nc-211-aberdeentoraeford.
The existing speed limit along the 15-mile project area of N.C. 211 will not change with the road widening; but the new design will incorporate the so-called “super street” concept with raised medians and restricted turns.
Busy Road Has Been a Work in Progress
The proposed widening improvements to N.C. 211 date back to a feasibility study completed in 1990 and updated in 2002.
During that time, the project was included in the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) as Project Number R-2592 and was later renamed as Project Number R-5709 when it was incorporated through the Strategic Prioritization process. Once the project was funded in the current STIP, the scoping process began and public meetings were held in Aberdeen and Raeford in July 2016.
In 2015, traffic volumes along N.C. 211 ranged from 4,200 vehicles per day (vpd) to 13,600 vpd. In 2040, traffic volumes are projected to increase more than 60 percent, ranging from 6,900 vpd to 22,300 vpd. By 2040, almost all segments of N.C. 211 in the study area will exceed the roadway’s capacity during peak travel time.
Without improvements, congestion is expected to continue to grow and lead to increased travel delays.
In addition during a five-year analysis period, 451 crashes were reported along this section of N.C. 211 -- with the total number of fatal crashes along N.C. 211 recorded at higher rates than the statewide average for similar facilities. Safety concerns are associated with traffic congestion and limited sight distance.
The project’s footprint extends from West Palmer Street in Aberdeen to Mockingbird Hill Road in Raeford, a distance of approximately 15.4 miles.
In Aberdeen, the project will install a 30-foot raised grass median and maintain the existing 45 mph posted speed limit.
Once the project area reaches the Hoke County line, the speed limit will increase to 55 mph with a proposed 46-foot depressed grass median.
Although NCDOT works to minimize the number of homes, businesses and churches affected by a road project, impacts are anticipated with the proposed project.
Currently design review and refinement work is underway in an effort to increase long-term transportation benefits while reducing potential impacts. Human, community and natural resource impacts will also be addressed as part of upcoming environmental studies.
According to DOT’s projected timeline, right-of-way acquisition work will begin in 2020. Construction is expected in 2022.