Traffic

Drivers frustrated by 2 road closures in southwest Raleigh; fix could take some time

Posted March 4

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— Drivers in one section of southwest Raleigh are running out of options because of a two-pronged road problem – one bridge has been closed for about two years, and engineers closed a second one last week.

The Lake Dam Road bridge has been closed since 2014 because of structural problems. The road helps people get from Tryon Road to Avent Ferry Road.

Joe Matthews says he's gotten used to taking a detour in that area, but he said the project is "a mess."

"Instead of going three minutes up the road, now they're adding 20," he said.

City of Raleigh Transportation Planning Manager Eric Lamb says the city spent about a year studying ways to repair the bridge, but in 2015, they discovered replacing it would be less expensive.

"We were not lined up and staffed up to do a full bridge replacement. That's why we explored the repairs, but ultimately, that's the way we had to go," Lamb said.

The city is now working with the sate Department of Transportation on a design. Construction could begin later this year, and officials said a new Lake Dam Road bridge might be ready by late summer 2017.

Unfortunately, the Lake Dam Road issue isn't the only problem in southwest Raleigh.

Many drivers have used nearby Trailwood Road as an alternate route since the Lake Dam Road closure, but engineers closed it last month due to structural problems. Like Lake Dam Road, a fix for Trailwood might not be ready until next summer.

For now, the city says drivers need to allow some extra time and use Gorman Street to go between Avent Ferry and Tryon roads.

"If we've got a road that's impassable, that should trump any other project that we have going on," Matthews said.

Lamb said the city is working as fast as it can.

He also said that the city is planning to replace the Avent Ferry Road bridge over Lake Johnson, but work on that won't begin until after the bridges on Lake Dam Road and Trailwood Road are replaced.

All of that work will need to be complete before a Beltline widening project begins in 2018. That work will require bridge replacements at Athens Drive and Melbourne Road.

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