Special Studies

overview

Most of the plans and programs implemented by Burlington-Graham MPO are comprehensive in scope. However, BGMPO also regularly develops or supports special emphasis projects or initiatives that align with our regional transportation needs and goals. These are referred to as Special Studies projects because they are more limited in scope or scale than our comprehensive regional plans (MTP and CTP). BGMPO may either serve as project manager or funding partner for Special Studies projects.

The source of funding for Special Studies—Metropolitan Planning Funds (PL funds)—are provided from the Federal Highway Trust Fund and distributed through NCDOT to assist MPOs in their planning activities. The distributed amount is based on a formula, agreed to by the MPO, that considers such factors as population, status of planning, and attainment of air quality standards.

While some of the Special Studies projects are internally managed, BGMPO often serves as a funding partner for locally managed projects. At the end of each calendar year (pending the amount of available PL funds), local member jurisdictions may submit Special Studies proposals to the BGMPO. These will be considered for adoption into the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) as a special emphasis project for the following fiscal year. If adopted, local jurisdictions are required to provide a 20% funding match for the project. On average, BGMPO provides funding support 2-3 Special Studies each fiscal year. 

recent and ongoing projects

Haggard Avenue

The Haggard Avenue Corridor Study is a project commissioned by the Town of Elon that will evaluate multi-modal connectivity and safety along the entire length of Haggard Avenue. Due to funding constraints, the corridor study was divided into three geographic project phases. The first phase (Phase I), which examines the East Haggard Avenue between Antioch Avenue and York Road, was funded in partnership with Burlington-Graham MPO.

A draft report of the first phase was completed in February 2021. The final report is anticipated to be submitted for approval to Elon’s Board of Alderman in March 2021.

Lowe's Boulevard Extension

This study was commissioned by the City of Mebane in partnership with Burlington-Graham MPO. The purpose of this study is to develop a corridor plan for Lowe’s Boulevard between NC 119 and Trollingwood Hawfields Road. NC 119 and Trollingwood Hawfields Road are both projected to experience significant increases in traffic volume in the coming years. Extending Lowe’s Boulevard to tie into Senator Ralph Scott Parkway will serve to connect these two roads and alleviate traffic volumes on adjacent intersections. As outlined in the City of Mebane 2040 CTP, the proposed corridor plan will provide accommodations for bicycle and pedestrian needs in both its planning and design.

The City of Mebane contracted with a consultant in early 2020 to complete the corridor study. The results of the analysis, including proposed alternative road alignments, were presented at a virtual townhall meeting in early January 2021.