On Sept. 13, the Garner Town Council held a public hearing concerning a resolution that supported road improvements at the intersection of US Highway 70 and Interstate 40. According to town officials, the improvement project is necessary to help ease congestion that occurs at this intersection during certain times of the day. The improvement project is estimated to cost the town between $5.5 and $6 million.
According to the resolution, the town council is aware of the traffic needs in the area of US 70 from I-40 to Montague Street. The resolution stated that this congestion was caused by recent developments being put in place and the congestion will continue as future developments come into the area.
Currently, Garner residents face traffic congestion during certain portions of the day when they come off I-40 onto US 70, the resolution said. Garner residents also face traffic congestion when making a southbound turn from US 70 onto White Oak Road. According to the resolution, future developments on Timber Drive East and on US 70 between NC 50 and I-40 will only increase traffic problems.
The proposed road improvement project would allow Garner residents to see improvements at the access ramp from I-40 Westbound, improvements to the intersection of Jones Sausage Road and White Oak Road and additional turn lanes.
According to the resolution, the proposed intersection improvements would consist of several different things. One area being sought for improvement was I-40 Eastbound ramp and US 70 Intersection and I-40 off ramp and US 70 Intersection. Town officials said the proposed intersection improvements would include constructing new lanes in the road.
“Construct three lanes on the I-40 Eastbound off-ramp with two right-turn lanes under signal control and one free-flow right-turn lane with appropriate channelization,” the resolution said. “The channelization should extend far enough to overlap with the required median separating the US 70 eastbound through lanes from the US 70 eastbound triple left-turn lanes. Provide 250 feet (minimum) of full storage and appropriate taper for the two lanes under signal control. To accommodate the two lanes under signal control, two receiving lanes will be required on the US 70 westbound departure. The additional receiving lanes should extend into the triple left-turn storage at the US 70/White Oak Road/Jones Sausage Road intersection.”
More turn lanes will be added at the US 70/White Oak Road/Jones Sausage Road Intersection according to the resolution.
“Construct an additional left-turn lane to form triple left turns, each providing 550 feet (minimum) of full storage and appropriate taper. To accommodate these triple left turns, an additional receiving lane is required on the White Oak Road southbound departure. The additional receiving lane should terminate as an exclusive right-turn lane at the White Oak Road and Carillon Drive intersection.”
Town officials also hope to install a raised median on US 70. However, they realize that additional widening of some roads may be necessary.
“The median should separate the left-turns and the through movements beginning at the intersection and terminate after overlapping with the median at the I-40 Eastbound Ramp/US 70 intersection. Additional widening may be required to ensure a safe merge into the left turn lanes. Additional construction to widen the throat between the free-flow right-turn lane barrier and the triple left-turn barrier may be required to insure safe through movements. Construct a third through lane beginning at the free-flow right turn lane at the I-40 Eastbound Exit Ramp/US 70 intersection and terminating as an exclusive right turn lane at the US 70/Future Thoroughfare intersection. Construct an exclusive right-turn lane with 600 feet (minimum) of full storage and appropriate taper.”
Eastbound US 70 also will be worked on in the improvement projects.
“Construct an additional eastbound left-turn lane to form dual-left-turn lanes, each providing 400 feet (minimum) of full storage and appropriate taper,” the resolution said.
Southbound Jones Sausage Road also would see improvements.
“Construct an additional left-turn lane forming dual left turns, each providing 360 feet (minimum) of full storage and appropriate taper,” the resolution said. “Construct a second through lane and a right-turn lane as needed relating to proposed driveways onto Jones Sausage Road. These will provide right-turn consideration for various identified driveways and for traffic turning right at US 70.”
The improvement road plan would also have road officials construction additional northbound lands from US 70. The lands would end at the Northeastern driveway when motorists would only be able to turn right.
“This lane is necessary to provide an additional receiving lane for the required dual left-turn
lanes of Eastbound US 70.”
According to town officials, the passage of the resolution will add a lot to the community.
“Town of Garner hereby determines that the foregoing proposed intersection improvements will decrease traffic congestion, improve safety conditions and improve air quality,” the resolution stated.
The Garner Town Council passed the resolution.
With the passage of the resolution, town officials are now able to move forward with finding ways to fund the improvements. According to the resolution, the town will fund the project by earmarking funds in a capital reserve account and have future funding procedures.
With the passage of the resolution, town officials also are able to study responses from various engineering firms concerning proposals and designs for the project. Town officials also now plan to contact NCDOT officials regarding their ideas for improvement.
After the town consults with NCDOT and receives an engineering consultation, Garner officials will then be able to seek bids for roadway construction and the work can begin as soon as possible.