Local News

Business Owner Hopes Proposed Bridge Opens Sooner Than Later

Posted December 22, 2004

— A unique project could mean the difference between success or failure for some north Raleigh businesses.

A partnership would use public and private money to extend New Falls of Neuse Road and build a bridge over the Neuse River.

Falls of Neuse Road is a busy four-lane road that narrows to two. The area is growing and poised for more traffic.

John Billiter owns the Prestige Auto Spa along the New Falls of Neuse Road.

The plan was that the new stretch of road would eventually connect to the current road. Instead, it dead ends.

"I wouldn't have put a business like this -- I wouldn't have done any one of these -- on a dead-end road in a bedroom community," Billiter said.

The business owner thought that, by now, the dead end would stretch to a bridge leading over the Neuse River, but the project just received preliminary approval.

Wakefield Commercial, an area developer, is funding the project in part. That gives it a better chance of getting final approval from the Department of Transportation.

"It's giving back to the community," said Chris Sinclair of Wakefield Commercial. "This is historic in that you've got Wakefield Commercial who's stepped up to the plate and is willing to commit a half million dollars."

For Billiter,it is not just about completing a road project.

"All these businesses are dependent on car count, and the car count is just not what they are presently -- what we were told they should be," Billiter said.

If the project does not move ahead, and quickly, Billiter said he is afraid his business could dead end in its current location, as well.

The project goes under public review for four months, then goes before the DOT for final approval in June.

There is word about when construction would begin or end.

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