Proposed Improvements to NC 87
of 30 miles from the Elizabethtown bypass to
US 74-76 east of Riegelwood is 10 years
away, but serious planning is underway.
Monday, DOT officials held an informational
meeting at Acme Delco Elementary School.
Two previous meetings were held in
early 2012. At that time citizens were
shown 2 alternatives for the proposed 4 lane
road that will improve mobility and reduce
travel time between Elizabethtown and US
A total of 329 people
attended those hearings and many provided
input on the project. The majority of
comments expressed concern on two segments
of the project: NC 87 in the vicinity of
East Arcadia Elementary School and NC 87
Monday with a third alternative. A
buffer in the area of the East Arcadia
School and a by-pass on the north side of
the current location in Riegelwood, between
the paper plant and the stoplight on NC 87.
Citizens were invited to the meeting
for input. If the feedback is
positive, NCDOT will investigate
the possibility of the new proposed option.
One spokesman for DOT emphasized they
were attempting to minimize the impact in
Riegelwood. According to information
provided, "It (Riegelwood by-pass) avoids
direct impacts to the home, businesses, and
historic properties along the existing
roadway. It also eliminates the need
to reconfigure the local streets and access
points along NC though Riegelwood.
The new alternative is not a slamdunk.
The concept has many constraints that will
require detailed evaluation to determine its
feasibility. These constraints include
the rail yard serving the paper plant,
crossing of Old NC 87 and the CSX rail line,
and bridges associated with tributaries and
floodplains of Livingston Creek. If
carried forward as a detailed study
alternative, these constraints will be
addressed through field surveys, analysis,
preliminary design, and cost estimates.
The estimates of cost for the first two
alternatives are about the same, both in the
range of $225,000,000.
Construction is projected to begin on the
eastern part of the project in 2018 with
other portions projected to begin in 2020
So what happens next?
If it is determined that the Riegelwood
Bypass should be studied in detail, field
surveys will be conducted to collect
environmental information within the
expanded study area. Preliminary
roadway design will be prepared for the
bypass. A Supplemental State Draft
Environmental Impact Statement will be
prepared to document the addition of this
As the study
progresses, the design will be refined and
efforts will be made to further reduce
environmental impacts. Another public
hearing will be held to present the results
of the additional alternatives analysis.
You can forward comments for
NC Department of Transportation
1548 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1548