The NCDOT has released a draft of its 2020-2029 transportation plan. The plan, known as the State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP), is the NCDOT’s proposed funding and construction schedule for projects to be completed within the next 10 years. It includes more than 1,600 transportation projects throughout the state.

The current STIP draft breaks down projects into several categories of funding. According to the NCDOT website, projects are ranked in three categories using a data-driven process: statewide mobility, regional impact and division needs. For potential projects in Lincoln County, none qualify for statewide mobility funding. However, several projects are draft funded at the regional level, with more submitted for funding.

Included in the projects listed as funded in the STIP draft is improvements to the Generals Boulevard/NC 27 intersection. According to NC DOT’s STIP project map, the project would entail constructing dual left turn lanes on the southbound lanes of Generals Boulevard and westbound lanes on NC 27. Improvements on East Main Street would continue to the NC27/150 split.

South of Lincolnton, the plan includes construction of a new multi-lane road from the Laboratory Road/150 bypass intersection to US 321 south of Victory Grove Church Road.

NC 73 could be extended as a new four-lane divided freeway from Rickard Lane to US 321.

North of Lincolnton, widening could occur on US 321 Bus. from US 321 to Finger Mill Road as well as the Finger Mill Road intersection into the Lincoln County Industrial Park.

On the eastern end of the county, NC 73 could be widened from two to four lanes from Anderson Creek to NC 16. The intersection at Optimist Park Road and NC 16 could become a construction grade separated interchange. That entails aligning the junction at different heights so as not to disrupt the flow of traffic when routes cross each other.  

Bus. 16 from NC 73 to Webbs Road is shown as a mix of draft funded and projects submitted for funding. The stretch from Fairfield Forest Road to Webbs Road is listed as draft funded to widen Bus. 16 to a four lanes divided road. Widening NC 73 to Fairfield Forest to multiple lanes has been submitted.

Three projects in East Lincoln are listed as committed projects on the 2018-2017 STIP, the Bus. 16 and Campground Road intersection, the Bus. 16/Unity Church Road/Triangle Circle intersection and NC 73 from Bus. 16 to Vance Road Extension in Mecklenburg County. That section could be widened to four lanes with a median and sidewalks.

Projects were submitted for improvements at the Lincolnton-Lincoln County Regional airports, including new hangars, taxilanes and a 10,000 gallon aviation fuel facility. Other submissions include a new vehicle for Transportation Lincoln County and widening 150 from Indian Creek to the Laboratory Road/150 bypass intersection and NC 27 from Rock Dam Road to Grove Street. Lastly, a new road project from the NC 150/27 interchange near the Southfork River to Laurel Street was submitted.

The STIP is updated every two years. The NCDOT expects to finalize approval of the draft this summer. Projects scheduled in the first five years of the plan are considered committed. Projects in the final five years of the plan get reprioritized. The Optimist Club Road and NC 16 intersection is the only project in the county to be scheduled within the next five years.

Each of the DOT’s 14 highway divisions will schedule an in-house week-long public comment session in February or March. Residents can also submit comments online via an interactive map at https://vizmaps.wspis.com/2050plan/crowdsource/map

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