From sleepy community to boomtown, Fuquay-Varina studying ways to ease traffic congestion
Posted March 13
Fuquay-Varina, N.C. — Many once-sleepy communities in Wake County have become boomtowns over the past several years.
Fuquay-Varina is a prime example.
While the growth is good in many ways – the town has about 28,000 residents now – it's creating some challenges for the town in terms of traffic congestion.
Consultants are now pushing two big projects over the next 20 years to help ease the gridlock.
Resident Quaneisha Corbett said she wonders if the roads around the town can keep up. She summed up the current state of Fuquay-Varina traffic in two words: "It's crazy."
The town is planning to rework some big intersections over the next few years and finish the Judd Parkway loop, but that might not be enough in the decades to come.
Engineers recently said Fuquay-Varina will need two four-lane bypasses by 2040 in order to keep traffic flowing.
A proposed Eastern Parkway would bypass U.S. Highway 401 traffic, while a Western Parkway would be designed to provide a route around N.C. Highway 55.
Mayor John Byrne says the projects are still years way.
"Right now, it means planning, and what we're doing is listening to our consultants," Byrne said.
Byrne says the town has been planning the potential routes for years, and the recent report it received confirmed that the high-capacity bypasses would help ease area congestion.
"Now's the time to plan for this infrastructure," Byrne said.
Corbett says the fixes can't come soon enough, and she doesn't expect growth to slow down.
In the meantime, Corbett says she doesn't expect growth to slow down.
"It's going to be big," she said of Fuquay-Varina. "It's going to be like Raleigh."
Currently, plans for the Eastern and Western parkways are not funded, and there is no estimate for when they might be.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation previously planned to build a U.S. 401 bypass around Fuquay-Varina, but the most recent state transportation plan tabled the project indefinitely.