RALEIGH — Work will soon begin on the long-debated Edwards Mill Extension. The road will not solve all the traffic troubles around Raleigh's Entertainment and Sports Arena, but highway engineers say it will help.
One point two miles of rolling hills and woods separates North Raleigh from the Entertainment and Sports Arena.Department of Transportationengineers say the best way to bridge that gap is the Edwards Mill Extension.
Nearly $10 million in work will soon start to make Edwards Mill a four-lane divided highway from Crabtree Valley Mall to Wade Avenue.
"If you think about the north Raleigh-area and points north of Raleigh that are coming south to go to events at the arena, this will allow traffic from, say the Creedmoor Road-area to cross over and take Edwards Mill straight into the arena," says DOT construction engineer Tracy Parrott.
The ESA accelerated the need for the Edwards Mill Extension, but it is not just for the benefit of arena-goers. Commuters headed for Interstate 40 along Wade Avenue will also get a boost.
Here is what engineers say motorists can expect:
"We've had to satisfy the different criteria as far as environmental permits, and obviously go through the preliminary and final design phase. We're finalizing our design now, so it's gone through the standard process," he says.
Engineers say the new gateway to the arena should be finished by 2003.
Widening Edwards Mill from Crabtree to Duraleigh will cost $3.4 million The Edwards Mill Extension will cost taxpayers $6 million.