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Road Improvements Set To Begin For Raleigh Trouble Spots

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RALEIGH, N.C. — In 2000, Raleigh voters approved a $45 million road bond. Road engineers want to put that money to work on several traffic trouble spots across the city.

Traffic backups are common almost any time of day at Six Forks Road and the beltline. Raleigh traffic engineers said the answer is to to realign exit ramps off Interstate 440 onto Six Forks Road, then add lanes to beltline entrance ramps. The idea is to improve the flow on and off of Six Forks Road.

Another traffic trouble spot is getting some bond money. Many drivers have suffered through a stretch of Capital Boulevard as they head toward the beltline.

From his service station at Brentwood and Capital, Gene Hinson has watched drivers try to merge onto the beltline for as long as there has been a beltline.

"What happens is the first lane is straight, but when it gets to the top of the hill at Highwoods it stops. Then, all those cars have got to merge into that other lane which makes two lanes of traffic into one and that backs it all the way up here," Hinson explained.

Road designers said the solution is to add a turn lane to both Capital Boulevard and Highwoods Boulevard and widen the beltline entrance ramps to two lanes.

"Even though they've added lane after lane, it doesn't help it any because traffic is increasing so much. By the time they get through doing the work, it's outdated," Hinson said.

Raleigh traffic engineers want to use road bond money to widen Jones Sausage Road from Rock Quarry to the beltline. They also want to widen Leesville Road from Lynn to Millbrook.

The proposals must receive final approval from the city council, which has already identified these areas as trouble spots.

Engineers would only commit to a timetable on the Six Forks/I-440 project. If all goes as planned, the they said construction should start next spring and be finished in the fall.


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