DOT proposing four-lane bridge over I-26 in Columbus

Published 8:00 am Saturday, May 26, 2018

Nearly 100 attend public meeting Tuesday on proposed construction

COLUMBUS — The North Carolina Department of Transportation recently held a public information session on a project to improve Highway 108 between St. Luke’s Hospital and Walker Street in Columbus — with plans that include building a new four-lane bridge over Interstate 26 and making the roundabouts two lanes.

NCDOT officials were on hand at Isothermal Community College to display maps of the project, and to answer questions and take comments from 98 residents who attended.

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The project will include a new four-lane bridge over Interstate 26, as well as widening the current roundabouts to two lanes and adding sidewalks to both sides of Highway 108, including over the new bridge and roundabouts.

The project will widen Highway 108 to three lanes with curb and gutter. The two outside lanes will be widened to 14 feet to accommodate bicycle travel, according to NCDOT officials.

A 12-foot center turn lane is also proposed to accommodate left turning vehicles.

NCDOT officials said they expect traffic to be maintained throughout construction with no offsite detour needed.

NCDOT Communications Officer David Uchiyama said from his perspective, Tuesday’s meeting went very well. From what he has heard from local government officials, the plans have been well received.

“We were able to explain the project, inform the citizens and receive a little feedback,” Uchiyama said Thursday. “We also heard a few new ideas and we will look into those as plans develop.”

The project, named I-4729B, is estimated to cost $8.7 million, including $1 million in right of way acquisition and $7.7 million in construction.

The first phase of the State Transportation Improvement Program, project number I-4729A, will build new ramps so traffic can access U.S. 74 directly from Interstate 26. The construction is expected to be completed this fall.

NCDOT officials said the design and planning of the two projects have been coordinated together.

Construction on the project to widen Highway 108 from the hospital to Walker Street is expected to begin in January 2021.

Fieldwork and studies began last year, and will continue through this month. The NCDOT plans to evaluate public comments and refine the project designs at this point in the process.

Right of way acquisition is expected to occur in March 2019. Construction is anticipated to take two years.

The public has until June 22 to send the NCDOT comments and ideas.

Comments will be accepted by email to or by mail to STIP Project No. I-4729B, Three Oaks Engineering, 324 Blackwell St., Suite 1200, Durham, NC 27701.

Information, including a map of the project, can be found at