Widening Reedy Creek Road between North Harrison Avenue and NE Maynard Road is still a few years away from happening, but the project that’s been in the works since 2011 moved one step forward last month.
The Cary Town Council approved a preliminary design on July 23 to widen a 1.2-mile section of the road that runs through residential neighborhoods and passes by Reedy Creek Middle and Reedy Creek Elementary schools. The state-owned road will have three lanes with a center left-turn lane, landscaped medians, 5-foot sidewalks and bike lanes.
There also will be two new roundabouts – one near the entrance to the Reedy Creek schools and one at the intersection of Dynasty Drive and Electra Drive.
The changes will address concerns that Reedy Creek Road is unsafe for children walking to school, officials say. Now, most of the curvy road has two lanes.
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While the preliminary design has been approved, plans likely won’t be finalized until 2016, said Sammy Wood, one of the town’s staff engineeers.
“It’s a chance for us to make sure Council is happy with the concept design,” Wood said.
The project has been in the works since 2011, when the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) awarded federal money to five Cary road improvement projects, including the renovations to Reedy Creek Road. So far, a total of $600,000 has been dedicated to the project, between the town’s funding and the grant financing.
The town adopted a long-term transportation plan in 2008, which identified Reedy Creek Road as being one of the roads in need of changes. In the plan, it is projected along with several other roadways as having too-heavy traffic by 2035.
Wood said there’s still more work to be done on the designs. In order to start construction, the town will need to apply for more funding from CAMPO.
The project was once expected to cost about $7.6 million. A staff report presented to the town last months estimates it will cost $8.3 million. No funding has been appropriated for the project, and it’s not in the town’s current 10-year capital improvements plan.
When the funding comes through, Wood said, the town’s staff wants the plan to be “shovel-ready.”
In the meantime, town staff will need to apply for approval from NCDOT and earn the environmental permits and plan for utility relocations. It’s hard to say when construction can begin, but Wood predicts that will be in 2017 or 2018.
“When the funding comes in, we’ll go right into construction,” Wood said.
Wildeman: 919-829-4845, @mkwildeman