A public meeting was held last Tuesday by the Northwest Piedmont Rural Planning Organization (NWPRPO) to gain feedback and suggestions for the State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP.)
“The North Carolina Department of Transportation is in the process of prioritizing transportation projects,” explained NWPRPO coordinator Elizabeth Jernigan. “What we’re here to do today is to identify projects that we would like to be considered.”
Additional meetings will or have been held in the other counties in the Northwest Piedmont region which include Surry, Stokes and Davie counties.
Jernigan explained that projects suggested go on a list of projects to potentially be done in the area. Projects are given point values which determines if they will be completed. The process of soliciting suggestions from the public happens every other year, Jernigan said, and projects added to the list will go into a long-term goal list for projects to be completed in the next 20 years. In addition to roadway improvements, pedestrian and bike projects are included on the list.
On the list for Yadkin County is construction of a new bridge connecting Yadkin and Surry counties for quicker access from Jonesville to the hospital in Elkin. Improvements to the intersection of N.C. 67 and U.S. 601 in Boonville are also on the list.
Boonville Commissioner Bonnie Lasky was at the meeting to show her support for that project in particular.
“The town of Boonville has been energetic about wanting to make improvements in its downtown for several years since we graduated from the STEPP program (Small Town Economic Prosperity Project.) We have a need for some work to be done at the corner of N.C. 67and U.S. 601 and it’s been a project that we’ve been talking about for several years, but it doesn’t qualify or get the points that it really needs. Now that we have all this energy and we’ve already done a lot of work in the town of Boonville to make it better, we’re ready now to follow up and help the Department of Transportation realize that this should be one of their priorities as it’s one of our priorities,” Lasky said.
Improvements Lasky said she would like to see at the intersection are the addition of a turn lane on N.C. 67 and possibly burying some power lines at the intersection to create a more pleasing view as people enter the town.
The final public input meeting for the region will be held in Stokes County on Oct. 5 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Reagan Administration Building in Danbury.
For more information, visit www.ptrc.org/nwprpo.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.