Woodard, Matheny respond to status of bypass plan

Montgomery County Manager Matthew Woodard says it may be time for county officials “to pursue other experts” to ensure county citizens “get the most out of” the planned Troy bypass.

140930_Left_TurnThe Town of Troy recently petitioned the North Carolina Department of Transportation to reconsider the Superstreet concept and convert some of the planned u-turn patterns into conventional stoplight-controlled intersections. The rerouting of potential customers away from the business district was the overarching concern.

NCDOT’s Division Engineer in Aberdeen responded last week that his department supports the original plan, saying it offers the best combination of traffic movement, accident prevention and efficient use to taxpayer money.

DOT suggested some additional signage be included in the design to help promote the Troy business district, and the division engineer reminded the town that some stoplight control is in the design at both ends of the bypass.

Responding by email to a media inquiry asking if the county plans to adopt a resolution in support of the Town of Troy’s pursuit of the design changes, County Manager Woodard referred to the DOT’s findings and said he is not in a position to “argue with their findings.” Woodard said he believes “none of the five Commissioners would do anything to intentionally hurt Troy,” and added, “…Troy officials and representatives, with the exception of one or two, have admitted openly that the four-laning of 24-27 helps the County….”

Woodard said County Commission Chair Jackie Morris “has agreed to have discussions pertaining to the intersections,” but no details were given.

Responding to the email conversation, County Commissioner Jim Matheny said, “We are told by virtually every economic development professional how important four-lane highway connectivity is to an area.” Matheny also expressed his understanding that action resulting in a diversion of project funding now could delay the project indefinitely, which, he believes, “would adversely affect growth potential for Troy and other areas of Montgomery County.”

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