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As Apex continues to grow, DOT looks to widen section of NC 55

Posted May 9

— 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.

DOT hopes to widen section of Highway 55 in Apex

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.

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6 Comments

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  • Edward Anderson May 9, 12:57 p.m.
    user avatar

    I highly doubt that the *only* chokepoint for the project is the CSX bridge. I suspect Imminent Domain is going to be getting a heavy-duty work-out along major portions of this thoroughfare. Not convinced we need dedicated bike lanes along approximately 3 miles of divided highway, when there are few bike lanes near it. SMH. Progress?

  • Robert Dalton May 9, 11:59 a.m.
    user avatar

    Waste of time with the expansion, they are not planning to replace the railroad bridge until they are done with the rest of it. The bottle neck is the bridge and always has been, you can build twenty lanes and several bike/walking lanes. But you can only get some many cars under the rail bridge. That is when it's not being flooded out by a rain shower.

    Fix the bridge first and then expand the rest of the road.

  • Charles Boyer May 9, 11:55 a.m.
    user avatar

    It's wishful thinking to say that growth needs to stop. That's not going to happen.

    What does need to happen is a thoughtful and effective plan to manage the infrastructure additions that need to be made to accomodate the growth. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that the leaders at the state or local level are capable of making that plan.

  • Pierre Tong May 9, 10:43 a.m.
    user avatar

    This is going to be one expensive project - 4 lane median divided with bike lanes or a multi-use path? With stuff built up against it on both sides? And having to replace that railroad bridge without CSX?

  • Kelly Paris May 9, 10:01 a.m.
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    I agree Crystal. Apex is growing too fast. Needs to stop or slow down.

  • Crystal Czeck May 9, 8:19 a.m.
    user avatar

    If they would stop building houses all over the place, then there wouldn't be room for more people to move in. Roads all over the outer city need to be expanded. Apex, Holly Springs, Fuquay-Varina, etc. What don't they do? Expand the road. What happens? Tree's get torn down and another neighborhood goes up within months.