ASHEBORO — Could NC 159 be relocated from Zoo Parkway to the Zoo Connector? That’s a concern brought before the Asheboro City Council at its Feb. 8 meeting.
Community Development Director Trevor Nuttall said such a proposal came with an NC Department of Transportation’s (NCDOT) request for adoption of municipal jurisdiction pertaining to the repeal and enactment of certain speed limits. The area of the speed limit jurisdiction is a stretch of Zoo Parkway between Crestview Church Road and Brownmire Road.
While the request for speed limit jurisdiction is normal, Nuttall said the proposed relocation of NC 159 was a surprise. He said he and Mayor Pro Tem Walker Moffitt, both representing the city concerning roads and highways, would normally be informed about such a proposal.
Relocating NC 159 to the Zoo Connector could have serious implications to the city, Nuttall said. He explained that the NCDOT prioritizes funding for road improvements, with state highways almost always receiving a higher priority than secondary roads. Relocating NC 159 to the Zoo Connector could possibly remove Zoo Parkway from state highway designation, thus making it less of a priority when it came to state funding for road improvements.
Asked if the city had a say in the matter, Nuttall said he didn’t know, but hoped that there could be input from Asheboro. “They should have come to me and Walker Moffitt,” he said, with a better understanding of why the NCDOT wants to relocate NC 159 and what the implications could be to future funds for city road improvements to Zoo Parkway.
“We’ll reach out to DOT and make sure this isn’t compromising our position,” Nuttall said.
The council voted to table the proposal until the March 7 meeting with hopes that the matter will be clearer at that time.
The affected section of Zoo Parkway runs from Dixie Drive to the roundabout at the entrance to the NC Zoo, a distance of 4.43 miles. The Zoo Connector extends from the roundabout to the US 64 bypass, 1.86 miles.
The NCDOT also sent a review of several intersections within the city for pedestrian improvements.