Local News

Widening project planned for Falls of Neuse Road

Posted June 27, 2008 8:50 p.m. EDT
Updated June 27, 2008 10:05 p.m. EDT

— Some North Raleigh residents say they are opposed to a $26 million project to widen part of a heavily traveled portion of Falls of Neuse Road near Interstate 540.

An average of 20,000 vehicles travel along the two-lane stretch thoroughfare from Raven Ridge Road to Wakefield, near Falls Lake Dam.

The city says the portion is meant to accommodate about 12,000 to 14,000 vehicles a day and needs to be widened to four lanes.

Gene Senecal, president of the River Oaks Homeowners Association opposes the city's plan, because it would expand the roadway 1.3 miles and include a median that limits access to nearby neighborhoods.

He agrees something needs to be done about traffic congestion but cites safety concerns. The plan would mean residents would have to turn onto a high-speed thoroughfare.

He also is concerned that the second phase of the project will create more problems and more congestion.

Traffic will be rerouted to the new Falls of Neuse Road, which is not yet built, he said. That road would then extend to Capital Boulevard, adding more traffic.

"We don't have to turn it into an expressway to divert traffic from Capital Boulevard down to 540," he said.

The city says the project includes one additional stoplight, but Senecal says that's not enough.

"It's going to be a danger for our children and for people trying to get into this road," he said.

There is support for the project, as well. John Francis, who lives at the northern edge of the widening project says it will mean an increase in property rates

The city says the project has been planned for more than 20 years. Construction is expected to begin early next year and should take about four years to complete.