City, DOT eye making Capital Boulevard a freeway

Posted September 18, 2008

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— Drivers and state and city planners agree: Commuters' twice-daily battle to maneuver through the two lanes of Capital Boulevard in northern Wake County is unsafe.

"It looks like where there's been a wreck. I mean, it's just bumper to bumper," driver Penny Hill said.

"It's frustrating. Sometimes, you want to run the light, but you can't because you don't want to get caught," driver Shane Diugud said.

Motorists said that traffic is especially a nightmare at intersections during rush hour. Hill said that she leaves a half-hour early every morning to get to her workplace at Capital and Perry Creek Road.

"If you leave after 7:15 in the morning, it's too crazy, so I usually leave about 6:45 in the morning," Hill said.

Raleigh City council members say they have taken notice of the traffic problem.

"In the morning or in the afternoon, you sit in that horrendous traffic, and you immediately see why we need to provide some relief in that area," Councilman Roger Koopman said.

The city has asked the state Department of Transportation to study traffic along Capital Boulevard/U.S. Highway 1, north of Interstate 540 in Wake County. The City Council has asked for lanes to be added and intersections to be improved.

Wake Forest and Franklin County have also expressed interest in the project.

"It just takes forever, you know," Diugud said.

DOT officials did not argue with Diugud's assessment.

"(There are) a lot of needs in the area, just not enough money to put all the fires out," DOT Division Engineer Wall Bowman said.

Bowman said a study by DOT showed that the best solution would be to make Capital a freeway – a project that will cost hundreds of millions of dollars. The agency does not have a timetable for improvements.

"It's going to be awhile before we can get around to improving U.S. 1," Bowman said.

Motorists said that meanwhile, traffic will only get worse with so much growth in that area.

"It could be fixed," Hill said. "It's just going to take money and time."


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  • pbjbeach Sep 22, 2008


    What i am saying is that the ncdot should stop the priviatization of the inspection of contract work and allow the state highway inspectors that they already have hired to do their jobs an enforced the ncdot state speceficiations an for the ncdot stop allowing contractors to be paid two an three different times of the same work an for them to quit allowing these contractors to be paid for bad non-spec work . i worked on a project where that this was allowed to take place an then the contractor was allowed to file a claim at project end am to get paid for bad non-speceficiation work at taxpayer expense. leonardo i am more concerned about getting my point across then i am with puncatuation thank you

  • lizard Sep 19, 2008

    Mass transit wastes more money faster. Forget it.

  • karibritt01 Sep 19, 2008

    The money spent on this project would go al long way towards putting in a mass-transit system. Raleigh is no longer a small town, and needs to quit thinking like one.

  • cameragirl Sep 19, 2008

    DOT says we don't have funds available but where does the highway trust fund money go to? Some goes to DHHS, some to other agencies. Shouldn't it go to just Highway projects? WRAL should look into this.

  • lizard Sep 19, 2008

    Move to Cary. We don't have any traffic problems there.

  • Jimm57 Sep 19, 2008

    "Cheaper fix than a full blown freeway - a 'Jersey Expressway' with no left turns and overpasses every mile or two for U turns. Getting rid of the traffic signals would go a long way to fixing this mess."
    Oh God PLEASE NO! Turning right to go left is not the way to go. If you haven't been to New Jersey to see it, nothing will get your blood pressure to rise faster. Another thing to hate about N.J.

  • iron fist Sep 19, 2008

    I thought the way people drive in Raleigh it was a "FREEWAY"

  • twc Sep 19, 2008

    Seriously, a duckweigh would be the ultimate solution!

  • momeeee Sep 19, 2008

    Just wait till they close Falls of Neuse to fix bridge at the dam - it will double the traffic on Capital.

  • twc Sep 19, 2008

    If everyone would just stay off of Capital between 5 and 6 pm I believe that would solve the problem for me. Except for the traffic lights, that is!