The North Carolina Department of Transportation is planning to convert part of Capital Boulevard into a freeway. While it could help commuters, the project would also affect local landowners. The project would cost $465 million, including $137 million for property acquisition. Construction is expected to start in the spring of 2021. The project is expected to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion in the area.
Public comment will be accepted during all phases of this project. The NCDOT will host a virtual meeting to hear feedback from the public on its plans. The public can comment on all aspects of the project, including the design and construction. The comments will be considered and will be used in determining the route of the project.
Currently, the project team is designing improvements for the I-440 interchange. The improvements are necessary due to overcapacity and will involve signalized intersections. The proposed project will transform the roadway into a multi-way boulevard with multiple medians separating regional traffic from local traffic. The plan also calls for converting most signalized intersections into interchanges. For example, Capital Boulevard will meet with Huntleigh Drive/Trawick Road in a diamond interchange and Millbrook Road/New Hope Road will become an SPUI interchange. Other changes include converting Oak Forest Road and Millbrook Road into right-in-out intersections.
While the project may be delayed by years, it is expected to be completed within a decade. NCDOT plans to build phase one in 2024 and then phase two and three in 2028. The new freeway is expected to cost $747.7 million, and is expected to take about 15 years to complete.
Capital Boulevard is an important thoroughfare in the city of Raleigh. It connects the city’s downtown with the northeast suburbs. It also has a variety of other uses. For instance, it carries US 401/NC 50 to the downtown area. It also has interchanges with Peace Street and Wade Avenue. In the north end, the road merges with Crabtree Boulevard.
Capital Boulevard is home to several aging bridges. Two of the bridges carrying Wade Avenue over Capital Boulevard were constructed in the 1950s. They were built with substandard geometry. The replacement bridges will be wider and higher. The project will affect the area’s traffic flow, as well as local businesses and residents.
The project could take 15 years to complete. Despite the numerous concerns about the project, the DOT has made a concerted effort to minimize the impact on economic properties. It will be necessary to protect the existing properties along the route in order to protect future growth. And it should be noted that the DOT’s plan is based on a plan that was drawn up almost 30 years ago.
While the state’s initial offer isn’t likely to bring in the full value of the land, the current project maps may be updated. The updated maps may address some of the issues surrounding the project. Nevertheless, once the process begins, NCDOT cannot stop the condemnation process. This means that the financial offer is negotiable.