Town engineer: Holly Springs 'superstreets' improving with time

Posted March 25, 2013
Updated March 26, 2013

— Controversial new intersections on the N.C. Highway 55 Bypass in Holly Springs are getting mixed reviews as the town tries to manage increased traffic congestion along the busy stretch of road.

"Superstreet" are a non-traditional type of intersection in which minor cross-street traffic is prohibited from going straight through or left at a divided highway intersection. Instead, drivers make a right turn, a U-turn and then another right turn to continue on the side street.

Engineers say the intersections are safer and increase traffic capacity without the cost of adding lanes. Stephanie Sudano, the town's engineering director, said there was plenty of negative feedback when the superstreets were first put in place, but things are improving.

"The signals are in place. Some of the new lanes are in," she said. "We are starting to receive positive feedback." 

The Holly Springs Towne Center opened a few weeks ago, and the Interstate 540 interchange linking Holly Springs to Research Triangle Park and north Raleigh opened in December. Town officials estimated that those factors would double the amount of traffic on the N.C. 55 Bypass, the biggest highway in the town.

"It's a mess," said shopper Nicole Wall-Parvin.  

The state Department of Transportation is still tweaking the design to ensure traffic moves as quickly as possible. New antennas, part of an automated signal synchronization system, are being installed.

Holly Springs 'superstreets' get mixed reviews Holly Springs 'superstreets' get mixed reviews

Sudano said the design should be able to handle traffic for the next 20 years.  

Superstreets are also being considered for a busy four-lane stretch of Glenwood Avenue between Duraleigh Road and Interstate 540 in Raleigh.



This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Pseudonym Mar 26, 2013

    Superstreets handily trump toll roads as the stupidest idea to come out of NCDOT. I give it 5-10 years before this fad fades away and a whole new generation of engineers comes in to mess up traffic even more.

  • lilloan Mar 26, 2013

    Negative! The traffic is absurd! Crossing 55 is from either side is now a complete hassle. That pales in comparison to exiting the western wake expressway onto 55 and having to take your life in your hands to hit the immediate u-turn two lanes to the left......somebody is going to die trying that one day. The only ohter option is to continue 3 miles up the road, turn around, and drive 3 miles back to hit sunset lake road. It's horrible!

  • ldestefano63 Mar 26, 2013

    I agree, like we needed all these stores when you can drive 10 minutes to Crossroads or Beaver Creek - They said they didn't want it to look like Capital B;vd. but now there are 4 more stop lights. It used to take 10 minutes to get down the bypass - wasn't the bypass built to alleviate traffic in the first place? Mayor Dick sold his soul and Holly Springs is becoming overcrowded with a bunch of fast food and stores that we don't need.

  • Riddickfield Mar 26, 2013

    I'd say it, much to my surprise, works better than before. I used to get caught at most of the lights from Avent north in the AM, now I pass through without stopping most days. The wreck that used to happen about once a week where someone was trying to turn left out in front of the new Target simply does not happen anymore. The flow of traffic is improved.

  • paradiselost Mar 26, 2013

    The whole thing was just a tax grab for Holly Springs. You have a sprawling shopping center 6.1 miles down highway 55 (Beaver Creek) with all the same stores. Really? We need a shopping center every 5 miles? The 55 by-pass used to be a relief for my commute to RTP but even at 0500 I get hung up by the new traffic lights. Maybe some method to the madness, so more people will use the toll road?

  • tendonut Mar 26, 2013

    @winemaker81 I suppose I only go down that bypass on non-peak hours. I live off 55 in Holly Springs, so I am stuck in that horrendous left-turn lane trying to get onto 55 during rush hour. Bypass traffic is then usually blowing by me.

  • HaulinMAS Mar 26, 2013

    I concur that the bottleneck at Avent Ferry and 55 is noticeably worse now. Coming out of W Ballentine prior you would never see such a long line backed up that far well past the Credit Union and on up towards Holly Springs Rd. I came out that way one evening wanting to head to Fuquay and there was no way I was going to get in that mess.

    How can anyone honestly say that adding more lights in that stretch is going to improve traffic flow?!? To me it seems like someone looked at 'Superstreets' and said 'hey that looks cool...lets do that!'.

    Another thing that's happening is if they make the intervals longer on the U-turn spots... people will ignore the red arrow and just go when they have a chance...have seen it already on one that we were at for multiple cycles, while the other directions U-Turn got several green lights in that time.

  • Bendal1 Mar 26, 2013


    Would you prefer getting "T-boned" at an intersection rather than making those multiple turns? The superstreet design greatly reduces the chance for that kind of crash.

  • dmj Mar 26, 2013

    I love having to make multiple turns to get going in the right direction.

  • winemaker81 Mar 26, 2013

    @tendonut: What is the secret of your success? Every time I travel the road I get stopped by at least 3 lights, sometimes all of them. I'm going out of my way to avoid using 55 ... since it is no longer a bypass.