Frequently Asked Questions

What is a corridor study?

A corridor study identifies both current and pending future transportation deficiencies along a roadway segment. Technical analysis of data is combined with input from the community to develop a range of possible improvements, ranging from site-specific to regional vision. For each option, trade-offs are quantified, and performance measured against the goals of the community. Ideally, appropriate improvements to safety and accessibility can be achieved at a reasonable cost, while preserving or enhancing economic vitality, community resources, and environmental conditions. Both long-range investments and more immediate enhancements that help advance the overall vision are included in the scope of this study, as are pedestrian, bicycle, transit, and freight modes. Relevant land-use and design issues and policies will also be considered.

What is the anticipated result of this corridor study?

The NC 54 Corridor Study will yield an integrated, multi-modal set of prioritized projects intended to enhance safety and mobility. Improvements to traffic flow will be balanced against convenient access to adjacent properties, preservation of community and environmental resources, and total project costs. Travel on foot and bicycle will be considered, as well as transit and freight.

Short-range, lower-cost solutions will be incorporated in a way that helps advance progress towards a comprehensive long-term vision that may include construction of more expensive infrastructure projects. Potential outcomes may include recommendations for sidewalks and new crosswalk treatments; bike lanes, paths, or other facilities; innovative intersection redesigns; new turn lanes or turn restrictions; driveway improvements; medians or other changes to roadway cross-sections; enhanced horizontal or vertical roadway alignments; and modifications to signalization and traffic control systems.

Final decisions, however, will be in the hands of local and state officials responding to input from the entire community. Implementation schedules will depend on the availability funding and on the relative priorities of competing projects.

How is this study funded?

The NC 54 Corridor Study is collectively funded by the City of Graham, NCDOT Division 7, and DCHCMPO, and administered by DCHCMPO. Future phases of the study, including design and construction, are not yet funded. The Study Team will work with the project consultants to identify potential funding sources and innovative strategies to maximize the competitiveness of proposed improvements within the NCDOT prioritization process.

Why is this study being conducted now?

The NC 54 corridor was once a primary route between the Triad and Triangle Areas of North Carolina. The influence of I-40 has shifted daily commuters away from the corridor, and this route has remained a rural corridor and gateway to Carrboro and Chapel Hill.

Local planners have long recognized the need for more balanced mobility improvements along this segment of NC 54, and have requested funds for a study to document traffic deficiencies and develop a set of solutions that reflect the community’s priorities. Funding for such a study has now become available through DCHC.