A stretch of Morrisville Parkway that has been closed since February will reopen by Sunday night at the latest, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
The NCDOT, which expects to put the finishing touches on its $19.6 million grade-separation project in the coming weeks, will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9 a.m. Friday, Aug. 26, to celebrate the project’s completion.
Town officials have said they expect the parkway’s opening to relieve some of the traffic problems along Morrisville Carpenter and Chapel Hill roads. Service is also expected to improve now the railroad bridge over the parkway is complete and a signalized level crossing has been eliminated.
Steve Abbott, a spokesman for the NCDOT, said in an email that the road could be open to traffic as early as Saturday and “no later than Sunday night so it is (open) in time for the start of school on Monday morning.”
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The new Aug. 28 deadline is a slight improvement upon the Aug. 31 estimate given by the DOT in July when it amended its initial prediction that the project would be complete by Aug. 8.
Even after Sunday, though, the two center lanes will be closed for another week to allow for the installation of a median. Abbott said drivers can expect smaller delays as workers put down a final layer of asphalt and permanent road markings.
The project has resulted in detours for several months – and impatient drivers. The road, which leads from N.C. 55 in the west to N.C. 54 in the east, was partially closed behind Park West Village.
The project is being funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Gargan: 919-460-2604; @hgargan