A roadwork contract approved this month will bring relief to drivers of an aging, 1.7-mile stretch of Northwest Cary Parkway.
The bumpy, disjointed road suffers from potholes and uneven concrete joins. The $2.1 million contract the Cary Town Council awarded at its March 9 meeting to Lane Construction Group will encompass the replacement of concrete with a new layer of asphalt and expand the shoulder two feet on each side of the two-lane road.
“I can’t tell you how overdue this is, especially that concrete section,” Councilman Don Frantz said. “It’s one of the worst sections of road in Cary, and I’m excited to see us doing something about it.”
Contractors will also be making minor repairs to the bridge over Black Creek.
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The project’s work will not be able to take place at night, transportation engineer Sammy Wood said, because of houses that lie just off the roadway. Construction will involve lane closures and detours beginning this spring and wrapping up in the fall.
Elsewhere in town, the council approved $167,000 toward another needed fix to town infrastructure. The existing stormwater pipe near the intersection of Bayoak Drive and Joel Court has been overwhelmed in recent years by heavier-than-normal rains, and a nearby house on Joel Court has suffered multiple instances of flood damage as water has backed up behind it.
Cary’s council approved the purchase and installation of an additional 48-inch pipe alongside the existing 30-inch one, which staff projections say will reduce water depth by 6.5 feet, enough to keep water out of the home’s crawlspace in the event of torrential downpours like the one that passed over the Triangle last July.
Cary ordinances didn’t prohibit building in flood plains until 2001, meaning many properties, especially older ones near the center of town along Swift Creek, are in danger when rains overflow nearby creeks. Towns sometimes purchase chronically flooded properties with the understanding that it’s cheaper in the long run to give that land back to the flood plain rather than have homeowners continually repair their bottom floors. In this case, stormwater staff found fixing the flooding with a new pipe would be cheaper than purchasing and condemning the property.
Recently, a rezoning petition in the often-flooded Scottish Hills neighborhood triggered an outcry from some residents who felt approving more development along the flood plain without taking further action to address flooding would be irresponsible.
“We know we’ll encounter more of these things as we work with homeowners, especially as infrastructure ages and watersheds change with more infill and development,” said Steve Brown, Cary’s director of water resources. “We’ve had anywhere from 7 to 14 inches of rain above average in the last few years. When we hear reports that there has been more flooding in recent years, it’s that we really have had a lot more rain in recent years.”
Gargan: 919-829-4807; @hgargan