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Business owners brace for Glenwood Avenue road work

Posted June 27, 2010

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— Business owners are bracing for a road works project that will tear up and close lanes along one of Raleigh's busiest streets over the next two months.

When crews started resurfacing Glenwood Avenue this past winter, the work unexpectedly uncovered a crumbling asphalt base that was at least 70 years old.

"We did know it was old concrete. We didn't know exactly how bad a shape it was in," said state Department of Transportation engineer Jeff Allen.

Crews will have to remove that concrete and lay down new asphalt for Glenwood Avenue between Wade Avenue and Five Points, its intersection with Fairview Road, Whitaker Mill Road and Glenn Avenue.

Allen said that extra work will likely increase the cost of the project, originally budgeted at $1.7 million, by at least several hundred thousand dollars and push its completion back from June to August.

Road Construction Glenwood Avenue and Five Points road closures

In the meantime, lanes of Glenwood Avenue will be blocked, and surrounding roads will be closed. The closures were scheduled to begin Monday.

"It will reduce business a great deal and hurt us very badly," said John Pridgen, owner of Villa Consegna, a consignment shop that has been open at Fairview Road and Glenwood Avenue for 18 years.

Rook Kim, owner of JIN's Dry Cleaners & Tailors, said the street closures will create some logistical difficulties.

"We have to get the clothes cleaned, and they have to get sent back to our store to be distributed to customers, but with this road block, I don't know how we're going to get the clothes delivered from the main plant to our pickup station," Kim said.

Allen said that at least one of lane of Glenwood Avenue will stay open in both directions, although the work could be done more quickly if the road were shut down completely.

"It is going to take us a bit longer, but we're going to try to accommodate the business owners and residents and maintain traffic," he said.

Business owners agreed that the road work is sorely needed and said they understand why traffic will be disrupted.

"I don't know of any other alternatives," Pridgen said. "Summer is a slower time than winter, so I'd rather have it get done now."

"It's going to be for the better anyway, so everyone just has to be a little patient," Kim said. "It won't be that bad."


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  • caull Jun 28, 2010

    Where were you sitting? You obviously have a different view than from a moving vehicle. I traveled through there for 10 years going back and forth to work during those hours and I can count on one hand the times I actually saw RPD writing tickets much less tow even though thats what the signs say "towing inforced". However, I can say that more afternoons than not at 4:30 there was someone parking on one or both sides of the road with no RPD in sight. Raleigh is the only town I know of that allows parking on a main throughfare into town. Thank goodness I no longer have to face that frustration every day.

  • NoFreakinWay Jun 28, 2010

    "BRACE" for it business owners. Put both ahnds on the wall in front of you and BRACE!

  • freedomfromAmeriKa Jun 28, 2010


    The dot is planning to close the entire intersection for 2-3 weeks consecutively to enable remove of the trolley tracks. How does any one of 50 merchants in 5 Points do business when almost all forms of traffic are diverted from the general area? In addition, homeowners from the intersection to wade avenue are forced to find alternative parking and walk home during extended segments of this 2 month project.

  • Bendal1 Jun 28, 2010


    There was a TV article on this resurfacing project where the manager of the Rialto was whining about the loss of his parking during construction, and wringing his hands over the loss of revenue and how it might put him out of business. He might support getting the job done but he certainly didn't like how it was going to BE done; I suppose he wanted NCDOT to whip out some "instant pavement", spray it on and leave with everything all nice and neat.

  • McLovin Jun 28, 2010

    freedomfromAmeriKa...to continue on your historic point which is quite interesting - the five points area used to have trolley service as well. If you look close enough, you can see the rail tracks that were paved over...too bad that those historic icons and landmarks can not be saved...

  • freedomfromAmeriKa Jun 28, 2010

    For everyone new to downtown, Glenwood Avenue hasn't always served as Hwy. 70 through 5 Points. In fact, the commercial district preceded the Highway designation for decades. Additionally, it is a neighborhood and is nationally recognized as one of the original planned suburban developments in the country. Yes, 5 Points/Hayes Barton is an original suburb of the city. The highway is a modern breach of this historic neighborhood.

  • micah Jun 28, 2010

    Caull, I have sat many afternoons and watched RPD ticket whole lines of parked cars at 4:15 on a weekday when they are not permitted to park in the right lane. And Bendal, I happen to know that the Rialto, while admitting construction will be aggravating, is in full support of fixing the roadway in front of their theater. Where do you get from this article that Rialto might want their frontage to be gravel?

  • Bendal1 Jun 28, 2010

    Typical "NCDOT can do nothing right" whining. This was a milling/resurfacing project; no pavement structure tests or geoengineering work is done on those kinds of projects. If bad pavement or soil is found while milling, there are contingency plans and quantities in the project to deal with them.

    In this case, though, there was a LOT of bad concrete, so the remedial work is going to take a while to replace it, and yes, traffic will need to be routed around the work. Perhaps places like the Rialto would prefer the work not be done at all, and leave the pavement as gravel in front of their business?

  • axepack Jun 28, 2010

    I'd like to know who had the brilliant idea of taking Wade Ave. down to 2 lanes at the same time? Genius. Two major arteries for traffic into and out of downtown to West / NW Raleigh and both were nightmares this morning. I ended up on Hillsborough St, which is also fun.

  • itsnotmeiswear Jun 28, 2010

    I came off of Wade Avenue a few weeks ago heading towards 5 Points after they had stripped it. It was absolutely insane how rough it was. Major holes and drop offs. The road should have been closed. There were a couple of holes that would have finished the underside of a car, and certainly caused someone to lose control.