RALEIGH — Getting drivers off clogged primary roads is thestate Department of Transportation'splan for easing some of the Triangle's traffic troubles. Smaller roads that give drivers alternatives are just starting to take shape in certain trouble spots.
The Edwards Mill Road extension will run from Duraleigh Road to Wade Avenue near the Entertainment and Sports Arena. The idea is relief for thousands of frustrated commuters -- a direct route from north Raleigh and the Crabtree Valley Mall area to Wade Avenue and I-40. Engineers say the 1.2 mile project should be ready for traffic by November 2002.
"This road is actually easier than most roads because on most widening projects you have a lot of utility conflicts and you have a lot of traffic control to deal with," says DOT engineer Reggie Parks. "On this road, you don't have any traffic control, so you pretty much go at your own pace."
Many commuters are cheering the road as another option to get out of gridlock, but neighbors to the project have a mixed reaction.
"I think it's a good idea. I also think that it'll really free up the traffic," says resident Loralee Koltasky.
"I'm not in favor of it at all. It's a beautiful woods and a lovely quiet area. I hate to see it go," says resident Norma Ebert. "Everybody's in a hurry. Everybody has to get someplace in a hurry, I guess, but it's a shame."
The new section of Edwards Mill Road will also feature bicycle lanes. The price tag for the new road will be $6.7 million.