Plans for the Estes Drive Connectivity Project are almost complete, right-of-way is acquired, and Town staff have requested Construction Authorization from NCDOT. Plans will be finalized over the next couple of months and then the project will be bid. Construction is expected to begin in earnest in Spring 2020.
The Estes Dr Connectivity Project includes raised bike lanes from Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd to Caswell Rd, a sidewalk on the south side and a 10' multiuse path on the north side. The project also includes intersection improvements at Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, and bike lanes extending onto Estes Extension. There will be enhanced crossing opportunities along the length of the project, including Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs), similar to those on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Franklin St.
Below is a map of the project area identifying the existing conditions.
Preparation of Alternatives
Stewart Engineering completed surveying on the site to identify the existing right of way, property lines, and utility infrastructure and easements. A detailed map of that surveying is available here.
An alternatives analysis was performed by Stewart Engineering, resulting is 3 separate design concepts. The alternatives are available here:
The origins of the Estes Drive project reach back to 2009 when funding was provided through the Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program to provide bicycle improvements along Estes Dr. The Central West Small Area Plan, adopted in 2013, identified Estes Drive as a critical priority for bicycle and pedestrian improvements and recommended the implementation of protected bicycle facilities. With the adoption of the Central West Small Area Plan additional CMAQ funds were allocated to Estes Drive project.
The project's CMAQ funding provides $2,338,000 for right-of-way acquisition and construction for the project in fiscal year 2016 and 2017. To fund the project design, an additional $247,000 has been allocated through the Federal Surface Transportation Program Direct Allocation (STP-DA) process by the Durham Chapel Hill Carrboro MPO, which will be split at 80% ($197,000) from the MPO and 20% ($49,400) from Town.
The Central West Small Area Plan provides a vision for the Central West area, including for issues of transportation and connectivity. Below are two of the plan's illustrations of potential transportation improvements in the area.