New road patterns are in place along U.S. 421 and Browns Meadow Road near Liberty. (PJ Brown-Ward/Randolph Record)
LIBERTY – There was considerable interest from Randolph County residents at a public meeting held by the North Carolina Department of Transportation to discuss potential changes based on the Greensboro-Randolph megasite.
There were 247 attendees signing in for last week’s session.
“That’s sizable,” said Harris Kay, a communications officer with NCDOT. “That’s what we want, people coming to ask questions.”
Liberty Town Hall was packed with members of the public at some points during the two-hour meeting.
There’s much curiosity about the traffic issue that largely focuses on a corridor of U.S. 421 in Randolph County. Changes are in the works “to accommodate the expected increase of traffic,” Kay said.
All this comes about because of the Toyota Battery Manufacturing operation that’s expected to begin operation in 2025 at the Greensboro-Randolph megasite.
According to NCDOT, the local road system won’t be able to handle the desired access to that area adequately. Construction has begun.
Naturally, residents and property owners want to further understand the impact.
“Most of the questions our group received were about how their property would be affected,” Kay said.
Residents who signed in for the meeting had the option of providing their email addresses. For those who did, NCDOT will email updates related to road construction and traffic in the Liberty area.
Kay said it was largely a courtesy meeting to show the public the status of progress, serving as a follow-up to past information sessions. About 10 representatives from NCDOT were on hand.
Officials with the Liberty Chamber of Commerce didn’t return calls related to NCDOT’s meeting as it pertains to the megasite.
U.S. 421 is an important north-south road for residents. It’s also a preferred route for many commuters to Greensboro. There will be heavy increased traffic during peak hours, so the capacity for more volume is desired.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation proposes to convert three at-grade intersections on U.S. 421 and make other improvements in Randolph County near the Guilford County line.
Under the proposals, the interchanges to be affected are at Colonial Trading Path and Shiloh Road, Julian Airport Road (State Road 2502) and Shiloh Road and Starmount Round (State Road 2407).
There will be closure of the at-grade intersection at Browns Meadow Road (State Road 2408).
Intersection realignments are set for Shiloh Road and Colonial Trading Path at U.S. 421, Old Red Cross Road (State Road 2403) and Shiloh Road, and Old Red Cross Road and Harold Meadow Road (State Road 2404).
The project timeline includes several likely upcoming developments during autumn. Those include an environmental study, right-of-way acquisitions, and the beginning of a construction phase.
NCDOT is accepting written comments via phone (512 580-8850 code: 3419), email ([email protected]) or NCDOT’s public input portal (ncdot.publicinput.com) through Sept. 13.