DOT plans to convert portion of Glenwood Avenue into freeway

Posted October 24, 2016 6:06 p.m. EDT
Updated October 26, 2016 12:22 p.m. EDT

— A five mile stretch of Glenwood Avenue from Raleigh to Durham could be converted into a freeway.

The Department of Transportation is considering the change to reduce congestion and create better traffic flow from Interstate 540 in Raleigh to Interstate 85 in Durham.

The move would involve converting Glenwood Avenue, also known as U.S. 70, between T.W. Alexander Drive and Lynn Road in Durham into a freeway, cutting off many connections with the exception of a few intersections along the road.

Customers would likely have to start using service roads to get to businesses and, for some property owners, things could get more severe.

“Some of them may be served by surface roads parallel, or service roads and there could be some impacts that could get into taking real estate. At this point, we are not sure,” said NCDOT Deputy Division Engineer Richard Hancock.

The traffic on Glenwood Avenue is what drew Raul Palomeque to the location to open a busines.

"I moved here six years ago to improve my business. More exposure," he said.

Palomeque's computer repair business, Compuclinic, used to be in another location, hidden from passing customers. When he reopened along U.S. 70, everything changed.

"People come in. I get a lot of drive-bys," he said.

The new plan could mean that things will change again for Palomeque, as DOT officials ay there is too much congestion on the corridor.

'That would provide a better flow for the traffic from 540 over to 85. There is a lot of congestion out there. Anyone who travels that corridor out there knows that," Hancock said.

The planning process for the project has just begun and public meetings will come in the future. Construction on the project would not start until at least 2024.

In the early stages, it is hard to predict how property will be affected, but Palomeque hopes the road improvements do not make it hard for his customers to find him.