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Originally published: 2013-08-09 11:33:17
Last modified: 2013-08-09 11:39:25

NCDOT to hold info session on proposed connector road

by Anna Oakes

Citizens may ask questions and make comments on three proposed alternatives for a road that would connect Appalachian State University's Bodenheimer Drive to N.C. 105 on Monday, Aug. 12, from 5-7 p.m. at the Watauga County Administration Building.

The N.C. Department of Transportation is currently studying the options for the proposed connector and will provide maps and staff to assist in the informational workshop. The workshop is an informal, drop-in meeting, and no formal presentation will be made.

Bodenheimer Drive intersects Rivers Street across from Depot Street in Boone.

ASU's Living Learning Center, Mountaineer Residence Hall, Appalachian Heights housing complex, chancellor's house, baseball stadium and the former Broyhill Inn are located on Bodenheimer. In addition, the university's 2020 Master Plan indicates that at least three additional academic buildings are planned for future construction off of the drive.

ASU officials say the road is needed to alleviate traffic congestion on campus, especially after special events. The university has proposed the road since at least 2007, when a study concluded the road would be feasible from an engineering standpoint, according to the Watauga Democrat.

In February 2012, the Boone Town Council and Watauga County Board of Commissioners passed resolutions supporting a NCDOT preliminary engineering design evaluating alternatives for the proposed road. Officials said the design would cost NCDOT $250,000.

ASU officials spoke in support of the design at the 2012 Boone council meeting, indicating they had spoken with residents of the area and acknowledging their concerns about increased traffic, speeding and safety.

Councilwoman Lynne Mason said at the time she could support the road only if it incorporated a "complete streets" concept with considerations for cyclists and pedestrians, as well as motorists.