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Funding for Extended Cary Street Could Be Redirected, Some Say

Posted March 19, 2008

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— The Town of Cary wants to give motorists a way to get through downtown without waiting on the trains that cross Academy Street and Harrison Avenue several times a day by building a road tunnel.

It would extend Walker Street 1,200 feet from Cedar Street northward to Chapel Hill Road. It would be a road tunnel with sidewalks, not only for vehicles but for pedestrian and bicyclists, as well, said Joe Moore with Cary's Engineering Department.

To build a tunnel that runs underneath the railroad tracks, it will cost the town about $15 million. About $980,000 in federal funds has been set aside for the project.

Some say the money should be used on other projects elsewhere downtown, such as improving the town's streetscape, building a town square or turning the old Cary elementary school into a community arts center.

"There are several other projects that may be important to look at before we begin that one," downtown business owner Glenda Westbrook said.

Cary's getting ready to start the design phase of Walker Street.

"Having an alternate route for those everyday commuters, in addition to emergency personnel, I I think everyone would realize there's a need for the project," Moore said.

Residents can weigh in on the Walker Street extension at a public hearing Monday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Page-Walker Hotel next to town hall.

Construction could begin in Spring 2010 and be complete by Winter 2011.

16 Comments

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  • DOG Mar 20, 2008

    I live in Cary and recently noticed that they have already closed off two of the four streets that cross the tracks from Chatham Street. I believe this is already a done deal no matter what we want.

  • Slip Kid Mar 20, 2008

    Talkabout - I have an idea:

    Find the 'right kind of lawyer' and SUE Cary for about $10 million as compensation for your frustration. If you get 9 more frustrated commuters, you can each get $1 million. What a payday! I'm sure Cary will settle as $10M is less than the $15M to actual build an unjustifiable tunnel and you'l be doing the 'town' a service.

    mmmmm - food for thought. Any lawyer takers?

  • Alicat Mar 20, 2008

    This sounds like an enormous waste of money. Having lived in Cary for 12 years I have waited on a few trains but never felt inconvenienced. Guess I plan my time a little better than others who are always in a huge hurry. Hopefully this won't happen. Money can be better spent elsewhere.

  • IceCreamMan Mar 20, 2008

    I'm not sure there's enough traffic in that area to validate building a tunnel. If they're gonna do that they better put a heckuva lotta effort towards building a legit downtown area.

  • teacher56 Mar 20, 2008

    I am all for this solution. I have lived in Cary for 38 years and the town can certainly afford this! Emergency vehicles need this but I am against permitting bikes in the tunnel.

  • talkabout Mar 20, 2008

    Rev RB. WHAT are you talking about?? I live in Cary RIGHT by the train tracks and I can say that the route you just laid out is SO FAR out of the way it is not even funny!! I HATE getting caught in that train traffic, it is very frustrating. BUILD that tunnel.

  • enigma1469 Mar 20, 2008

    Again the needs of the few falls on the backs of the many.

  • The Oracle Mar 20, 2008

    "Spend the money on building a toll free I-540 from Morrisville to Holly Springs."

    Well, the estimated cost of the extension is $800,000,000.
    (www.wral.com/traffic/story/1227597)

    Where is the other $785 million coming from ???

  • Leonardo Mar 20, 2008

    TarheelsDontLikeEdwards and Conservative....it's Cary's money. They can spend it any way they see fit. Why should they spend THEIR money on YOUR highway? That doesn't sound like a 'conservative value' to me.

  • Slip Kid Mar 20, 2008

    Are we so lazy and time addicted that we need to spend $15 MILLION to avoid a few minutes delay from time to time at one little crossroads? If Cary goes through with this, it really says alot about our priorities and how out of whack they are.

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