Local News

Western Boulevard Extension Opens Today

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RALEIGH — It's been two years in the making, but therefinally will be free-flowing traffic going east and west in Raleigh today.

The ribbon cutting for the Western Boulevard extension is set for 11 a.m.today. The price tag for the project: $20 million.

The new 1.4 mile stretch of four-lane, divided highway connects WesternBoulevard and Martin Luther King Boulevard, which ties in to Poole Roadand the beltline. It will give commuters an easyway to cut across the heart of the city, connecting East Raleigh to WestRaleigh, beltline to beltline.

The project has drawn both praise and protest. It will alleviatecongestion on narrow streets in Boylan Heights. But some residents of thearea complain that the road has transformed the neighborhood by cuttingdown trees and eliminating an open field in front of Dorothea DixHospital.