Several key corridors in southern Moore County including U.S. 15-501, U.S. 1, Morganton Road and Airport Road will see resurfacing projects begin this year, with some work likely continuing into 2022.
Brandon Jones, N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) Division 8 engineer, said the resurfacing projects will have no effect on the timelines of other major road projects that have been postponed to accommodate the 2024 U.S. Open in Pinehurst.
“Resurfacing is a whole different program than other road projects. It is more about keeping up with what you’ve got,” Jones said. “We did delay some work last year because of revenue concerns and COVID-19 impacts and have now returned to a somewhat regular schedule of resurfacing letting (bidding).”
Specific resurfacing project areas that have been announced include U.S. 15-501 from north of Morganton Road up to and including the Pinehurst traffic circle; U.S. 1 from West Main Street in downtown Aberdeen to the Saunders Street area in Southern Pines; Airport Road from west of the N.C. 22 airport roundabout to Midland Road (N.C. 2); and Morganton Road between U.S. 15-501 and U.S. 1 in Southern Pines, and N.C. 5 to Turnberry Way in Pinehurst.
Jones said some roads were prioritized, such as resurfacing U.S. 1 between Aberdeen and Southern Pines, because of the slowdown of projects announced in 2019. DOT plans call for a massive redesign of U.S. 1 and U.S. 15-501 with hard medians and restricted turns, the so-called super street project, that was initially scheduled to begin in 2020.
“We know for that stretch of U.S. 1, we will come back in 2024-2025. But we couldn’t wait until that time period to do something about the pavement,” Jones said. “More than that, we’d be spending a lot of money on it from a patching standpoint to keep it in decent shape. With the delay of the (Super Street) project, we had to make that decision.”
Additional resurfacing projects scheduled in 2021-2022 include U.S. 15-501 from N.C. 211 to the Hoke County line; U.S. 1 in Pinebluff from the Pinebluff Fire Department to Currant Street; and smaller resurfacing projects on Mack Road, Carolina Road, Putnam Glendon Road, Snoozing Pine Lane, and Arnold Avenue.
In a presentation to Partners in Progress on Feb. 9, Jones also provided an update on several other future road projects.
“We will have major road work going on in nearly every corner of Moore County after the 2024 U.S. Open, and we will need to get those finished before the 2029 U.S. Open,” Jones said. “That is a challenge for us but a challenge we welcome.”
Some of the more notable projects that could begin by 2022 include improvements to the Pinehurst traffic circle, lane work at the U.S. 15-501 and Morganton Road intersection, and the addition of a southbound turn lane on U.S. 15-501 to improve traffic around the FirstHealth of the Carolinas campus.
DOT has begun developing the 2022-2031 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) plan, an every other year process where projects are scored and prioritized for funding. Jones said large road projects are often split into smaller, less costly segments to improve scoring potential. He singled out the U.S. 1 as a highway corridor that DOT has identified as “extremely important” to protect.