As Apex continues to grow, DOT looks to widen section of NC 55
Posted May 9
Apex, N.C. — The North Carolina Department of Transportation is holding a public meeting Tuesday night in Apex to explain why – and how – it wants to widen a section of N.C. Highway 55 in the town.
The highway is often congested, but engineers hope a plan to widen it between U.S. Highway 1 and Olive Chapel Road could ease some travel headaches for residents.
Project manager Zahid Baloch says DOT is looking at two design possibilities for the highway. Both would provide a four-lane, median-divided highway with sidewalks and bike lanes.
One would also provide a multi-use path from Apex Peakway to South Salem Street to accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians.
"The multi-use path is a separate path for bikes and pedestrians. It's 10 feet wide. Kids can ride bikes, people can walk there," Baloch said.
The only chokepoint for the project is a railroad bridge near downtown. The highway would only be able to be three lanes under the bridge, which is owned by CSX.
The railroad company says the bridge is safe and it doesn't plan to spend money to replace it. That part of the project is something taxpayers would have to cover.
"We will try to find the money to fix it once we're done with this project," Baloch said.
Construction likely won't start until 2021, and it would take a few years, DOT officials say.
Tuesday's public meeting is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. at on the third floor of Apex Town Hall at 37 Hunter St.