RALEIGH — A new traffic signal intersection will replace an aging bridge in West Raleigh when the state Department of Transportation completes a $2.6 million project to realign the complicated confluence of Hillsborough Street, Western Boulevard and Jones Franklin Road.
DOT engineers originally proposed to build a new bridge for the overpass that lifts eastbound Hillsborough over the westbound lanes of Western, about a mile outside the Beltline.
But Raleigh officials came up with an alternate proposal to demolish the old bridge, along with both pairs of curving eastbound and westbound lanes that connect the two roads.
Instead, Hillsborough Street will be realigned to intersect with Western Boulevard at a right angle. New sidewalks will be added along both roads and on nearby Jones Franklin Road.
DOT is scheduled to open bids on the project Oct. 16, with work expected to be finished in summer 2014.
Eric Lamb, the city’s transportation planning manager, said the project will improve the Jones Franklin area for transit service and for pedestrians and cyclists, and encourage more mixed-use development around the intersections.
Realigning Hillsborough Street and building a new intersection will cost less than DOT had expected to spend for a new bridge.
“And in the long term, we should see some of that property revert to private ownership,” Lamb said. Because the new intersection will take up less land than the old pairs of curving lanes, he said, DOT expects eventually to sell three or four acres to private buyers.
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