Section of Morrisville Parkway closed for 6-month railroad project
Posted February 2, 2016
Updated February 8, 2016
Morrisville, N.C. — The North Carolina Department of Transportation began work Monday on a six-month construction project along Morrisville Parkway that will create a traffic headache for drivers who use the road to go between N.C. Highway 54 and Davis Drive or N.C. Highway 55.
Crews closed Morrisville Parkway between Bristol Creek Drive and Crabtree Crossing Parkway, near the Park West Village Shopping Center, to install a rail overpass and eliminate an at-grade rail crossing, officials said.
Morrisville Mayor Mark Stohlman and members of the Town Council stopped vehicles along Morrisville Parkway to inform people of the $20 million project, which the federal government is financing, and they handed out doughnuts to placate drivers.
"We're closing down the road here for six months, so we're giving out doughnuts to make your commute a little bit better," Stohlman told one woman.
A signed detour will have N.C. 54 drivers using Cary Parkway, High House Road and Davis Drive to get around the Morrisville Parkway closure.
Drivers heading toward N.C. 54 from N.C. 55 or Davis Drive will take the same route in reverse.
"The roads being used for the detour are already heavily traveled, so motorists are encouraged to allow extra time for traveling through the area, and local residents may want to find other alternative routes to bypass the closure," DOT officials said in a news release. "In some cases, traffic light timing can be adjusted to try to alleviate heavier traffic situations."
The upheaval worries some local business owners, such as Drew Propes of Carolina In-Home Flooring & Design Center.
"We're going to do the best we can. Get out on the main street and let everybody know we're here, and hope for the best," Propes said.
Once the work is complete, the new bridge will bring an end to backups caused when trains travel through the area.
"I always love it when trains cross the bridge so you don't have to wait," driver Greg Crowder said. "Six months is a long time to wait, but it's worth it."
In addition to the bridge addition, the project also includes about 1.5 miles of railroad construction between Morrisville-Carpenter Road and Cary Parkway. That includes the realignment of railroad curves that should improve track speeds and reduce travel times between Raleigh and Charlotte, officials said.
There will also be minor roadway improvements along Morrisville-Carpenter Road at Town Hall Drive, Davis Drive at Morrisville Parkway and N.C. 54 at Weston Parkway.