Local News

DOT Considering Freeway To Ease Capital Boulevard Congestion

Posted August 2, 2002

— Planners admit mistakes were made and development has gotten out of hand along Raleigh's Capital Boulevard. Now they are trying to look to the future with a plan to keep traffic moving north of Interstate 540.

It seems like every day, no matter what time of day, traffic along Capital Boulevard is a nightmare.

Road planners said the problem is that Capital Boulevard south of I-540 is an endless series of driveways, curb cuts and traffic lights. North of I-540, the planners said there is still hope in the form of a limited-access highway.

Engineers are thinking about a freeway -- a road free of driveways and traffic lights, with limited exit ramps and side access roads all the way from I-540 to Highway 98 in Wake Forest.

Many sections of Capital Boulevard, north of I-540, are lightly developed and seemingly ready for such a plan.

Some places are not, like the first Capital Boulevard business north of I-540, Foster's Autobody/Price Motorsports.

"We don't feel very comfortable with it," said Don Lewis of Price Autosports. "We bought this property and placed our business here for the convenience of the customers and the people around us."

One driver spoke for a lot of people by saying she does not think anything will help.

"You know what they say, 'If you build it, they will come.' More cars, more cars, more cars," Charlotte Netherby said.

Another thing that might not help is that the DOT estimates the freeway plan would cost about $100 million.

DOT engineers said they would also like to explore a limited-access freeway for Highway 70 between Raleigh and Durham.

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