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Motorists Fed Up With Highway 55 Construction

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WAKE COUNTY, N.C. — Drivers claim they are fed up with the hassles and delays that stretch from Holly Springs to Apex. A road widening project on Highway 55 is testing motorist's patience, but the state Department of Transportation said despite how it seems, crews are actually ahead of schedule.

Wanda Gold drives a school bus through the Highway 55 construction zone during the morning and evening rush.

"It's just unbelievable. Just unbelieveable. It's almost to the point that you will go completely out of your way around town to avoid 55," Gold said. "For someone sitting in a car or bus or sitting in that traffic, it feels like this is taking forever."

Many drivers claim that the road work for Highway 55 that has been under way for a year is taking too long, but the DOT has a different take.

"The progress schedule that the contractor submitted, they're supposed to be 28 percent complete right now and they're actually 43 percent complete, so they are 15 percent ahead of schedule," DOT engineer Kelly Elliott said.

DOT crews are trying to turn two-lane Highway 55 into five lanes from Holly Springs to Apex and building a new bridge at Highway 55 and U.S. 1. Officials are asking drivers to be patient and to understand that being ahead of schedule means Highway 55 will not be finished until December 2003.

DOT officials said the Highway 55 project will cost taxpayers about $8 million.


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