Revised US 64 bypass plans concern some property owners in Asheboro

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ASHEBORO, N.C. -- Revised plans for the U.S. 64 Asheboro Bypass have some property owners concerned about how quickly they'll have to move.

The proposed project includes a 14 mile, four-lane bypass designed to alleviate traffic along a normally congested Highway 64. The bypass, which would be constructed in 2014, does not allow for any driveway access. With the current plans, properties you can normally access along the stretch of highway will be cut off. An additional access route to the North Carolina Zoo would be built in 2023.

"This business will be plowed under," said Jeff Clifton, owner of the popular Blue Mist Barbeque Restaurant along U.S. 64.

Clifton said the original plans for the project from about 10 years ago only called for limited access to his business. The state held off on that plan due to a lack of funding.

The revised plan means an end to the 64-year-old business and its 35 employees, according to Clifton.

"Is it worth taking my business and two businesses next door? For 15 minutes? I don't know. Not to me," Clifton said. 

A public hearing on the project will be held Thursday night to outline the plans and answer concerns.

Clifton says he'll attend the public meeting to find out more about compensation.

"Will they give me enough money to pay my debts off and move on?" Clifton said of his biggest concern.

The public hearing is scheduled from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at Southmont Elementary School at 2497 Southmont Drive. A corridor protection hearing concerning the new zoo route will follow at 7 p.m.

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