N.C. 98 Bypass expected to open Thursday

Posted September 1, 2010 4:19 p.m. EDT
Updated September 1, 2010 11:48 p.m. EDT

— Thursday's the day commuters in northern Wake County have been waiting for – the opening of the N.C. 98 Wake Forest Bypass. However, it's not good news for everyone.

For years, drivers along U.S. 1 and Highway 98 in northern Wake County have faced an obstacle of traffic cones and road closures – all while they waited for crews to finish a road connecting the two major thoroughfares.

Drivers say the bypass will ease congestion and make traveling the area much easier. Retailers in the area are happy, too. The Peanut Roaster is a shop right off the bypass, and employees said they believe the new traffic will flow their way.

"We're excited about it," employee Joyce Holloway said.

"I just think it will be easier to get from point A to point B," said Twila Micchia.

"Everybody has got to be happy about this," echoed Mary Canny.

Lenore Ziff, who lives right behind the bypass, is not as enthusiastic. Her backyard, which used to be nothing but woods, is now a highway. She is concerned, she said, and doesn't know how her life will change once the road is opened to traffic.

"If they had a road in their backyard, they wouldn't be happy," she said.

Ziff said she's worried that cars traveling at 55 mph will make too much noise.

"We were happy here," she said, "until this happened."

DOT officials say they're unable to put a sound barrier behind Ziff's house because the subdivision was built after plans for the bypass became public record.