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DOT Prepares to Widen Airport Boulevard

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WAKE COUNTY — Airport Boulevard is a main route to the rapidly-growingRDU Internationalairport, and the mostly two-lane road is also a heavily-traveled connector route for commuters.

Even at midday, there are too many cars and not enough room for them all on Airport Boulevard.

During the morning rush, thetrafficis about as bad as it gets. Traffic grinds to a halt on Interstate 40 where drivers are trying to exit onto Airport.

The DOT says it has the solution: crews will soon expand Airport Boulevard from two to five lanes.

"The amount of backed up traffic here in the mornings, it's just incredible and I said to myself, how can people continue to do this everyday?but I'm one of them soha ha."

"Definitely it's a great idea, there's certain parts of the day that you don't even wanna come through this area, because it takes sooo long." The widening comes just in time for the road, which will be carrying more people in the future. There are construction projects under way and "Land for Sale" signs up all along the highway.

"I remember this road 10 years ago and there was really not much on it," says DOT resident engineer Mark Craig. "Over the past 10 years I've seen it change dramatically and the road needs to accommodate all those changes."

The Airport Boulevard makeover will cost $4.2 million. The work starts June 1, and engineers say lanes will be closed only from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. The expansion is scheduled for completion in September 2001.


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