Conflicting Visions for U.S. 70 Divides Durham Community

Transportation planning is a complex task that requires balancing the needs of various stakeholders. For example, the case of U.S. 70 in Durham, North Carolina, highlights the ongoing debate between proponents of traditional highway expansion and those advocating for alternative modes of transportation.

The disagreement over the future of U.S. 70 revolves around a four-mile stretch between Raleigh’s Brier Creek and the new Interstate 885 East End Connector freeway in Durham. The Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) stated it no longer supports the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s (NCDOT) plan to turn U.S. 70 into a six-lane freeway in southeast Durham. Instead, it has initiated efforts to develop a plan for U.S. 70 as a more urban four-lane boulevard, with a goal of reducing vehicle miles traveled, improving safety, and minimizing environmental impacts.

The Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro MPO’s New Priorities

Last year, the Durham MPO announced a priority shift: they would allocate more resources to alternative transportation options while reducing investments in new highways and expansions. The organization aimed to enhance safety, reduce environmental impact, and promote multi-modal transportation solutions. One project affected by this shift was the long-standing plan to transform U.S. 70 into a six-lane freeway in southeast Durham, which the MPO decided to no longer support.

What This Means for Durham Property Owners

With almost 10,000 new homes approved in car-centric developments, commercial businesses may be affected by this ongoing conflict. As a commercial property owner, you may find yourself in limbo and at odds with the future of your business. As plans along this stretch of the road continue to delay and change back and forth, you may face difficult decisions regarding investing in expansion projects on your property, expanding your workforce, or renovating spaces like showrooms and sales areas. 

We’re On Your Side

Our eminent domain and land condemnation attorneys have represented many property owners throughout Durham in land condemnation matters and are ready to speak with you for free. Contact us today by submitting a form below or calling our office at 919-781-1107 for a free consultation.