Work has begun on a long-term project to make a Wilkes County stretch of U.S. 421 safer.

The $81 million project addresses congestion on U.S. 421 through Wilkesboro. It’s a corridor lined by gas stations, fast-food restaurants and shopping centers. About a dozen roads intersect with the highway along the roughly two-mile project length.

The plan is to add what’s called a reduced conflict intersection. Many drivers converging on the intersection will have to turn right instead of going left or straight.

They’ll then have access to a designated U-turn that will take them to their destination more safely. The change will also allow lights on U.S. 421 to stay green longer, reducing backups, says Jonathan Rand, an NC DOT spokesman for the area.

“When it’s complete this reduced conflict intersection is going to just improve safety overall and improve traffic flow for this corridor that has continuing growth of traffic volume,” he says.

During construction, drivers can expect nighttime lane closures and traffic shifts. 

According to Rand, the project is expected to be completed in 2028.

300x250 Ad

300x250 Ad

Support quality journalism, like the story above, with your gift right now.