Wake Forest Road Widening Project Under Way
Posted February 4, 2008 11:10 p.m. EST
Updated February 4, 2008 11:33 p.m. EST
Raleigh, N.C. — Road work has started in a part of Raleigh known for congestion and accidents.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation is widening a half-mile stretch of Wake Forest Road, between Six Forks Road and the Interstate 440 Beltline.
The NCDOT said construction will only happen at night and on the weekends.
Some drivers with whom WRAL talked on Monday said that while the construction will be an inconvenience, it is definitely needed.
“All around Interstate 440 on either side is really bad, congested a lot of the time,” motorist Daniel Gunter said.
"The roads are too small. People are just running into each other, side swiping each other, that kind of thing," Jaime Martini, beverage manager at the Bahama Breeze restaurant, said.
The Bahama Breeze restaurant is near the interchange. Martini said she hears about at least one wreck almost every day.
Numerous wrecks are another reason the NCDOT decided to widen the road.
Workers will add a lane in each direction of Wake Forest Road. They will also widen the on-ramps to the Beltline and install better roadway lighting.
"It's very necessary. The population here is just kind of exploding,” driver Marty O'Sullivan said.
Another reason for the project is the influx of people coming into the area. The NCDOT said about 31,000 drivers a day go through the interchange.
"There's already really bad traffic. You can't even turn left out of the restaurant from 4 to 6 (p.m.)," Martini said.
"I think 'disaster' while they (the DOT) are doing it. It (widening project) will make it worse for however long it takes," Gunter said.
Drivers said the project will be well worth it in the end, however.
"I wouldn't mind sacrificing if they are going to widen it, you know," motorist Earl Shepard said.
"When it's done, it will be worth it, for sure," Martini said.
The NCDOT said at least one lane in each direction will stay open during the widening project.
All work will be done between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., however, there could be some construction during weekend days. NCDOT is encouraging motorists to use alternate routes.
The $3.1 million road project, which was awarded to Rea Contracting LLC of Charlotte, is expected to be completed by November.