02/19/10 — MPO group OKs budget

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MPO group OKs budget

By Steve Herring
Published in News on February 19, 2010 3:04 PM

The Goldsboro Metropolitan Planning Organization on Thursday morning adopted a $545,500 budget for its planning work program, incorporating a recommendation by the Wayne County Planning Board.

The Planning Board at its February meeting argued that the planned U.S. 70 Bypass crossing at Wayne Memorial Drive deserves equal attention to that being given to the cloverleaf interchanges at the bypass and N.C. 581 and at the U.S. 117 Bypass.

In its original budget, the MPO had budgeted $50,000 for a study for the Wayne Memorial Drive interchange and $75,000 for consultant work for an environmental impact study for the cloverleaf interchanges at N.C. 581 and U.S. 117 Bypass.

The budget adopted Thursday increases the $50,000 to $100,000.

"The long-rang transportation plan did some initial work on that proposed interchange there and how it might develop over the course of the next 10 to 15 years," said County Planner Connie Price, who also serves as chairman of the MPO Technical Coordinating Committee (staff). "The Planning Board felt maybe flesh that study out a little bit with some additional details. It might not take $100,000 to get the work done."

There was little discussion of the change and a second issue that the Planning Board had discussed at its meeting.

Board member David Quick had said that the MPO, Planning Board and "everybody" had overlooked Patetown Road where development along that road has exploded in recent years.

He said that dirt is being pushed close to the road as the state prepares for a bridge where the new U.S. 70 Bypass crosses the road. There has been some discussion that at some point there could be a need to widen Patetown Road.

That will not be possible the way they are putting the dirt up to the road, Quick said.

MPO members agreed, but said it was a "dead issue."

Other projects in the special studies budget include:

* Update of the city land use plan, $75,000. "We are looking to redo the city land use plan to help us make better decisions when it comes to transportation," said city Planner Randy Guthrie.

* Extension of the multi-use (bike and walking) path, $50,000. "We are looking to do maybe a better in-depth bike or multi-use plan study to evaluate maybe where some of these should go, maybe above and beyond what the long-range transportation plan says," Guthrie said.

* Update of the U.S. 117 South Corridor Study, $50,000. "We have talked about this for four or five years about possibly getting a study going for that. We talked about, particularly during the long-range transportation plan meeting, about concerns about picking a final corridor an maybe pinning that down. There is some age associated with the original study."

* Continue planning work relative to former train station (Union Station) for use by GATEWAY and possible passenger rail, $50,000.