Word on the street – Arendell Avenue, to be exact – is that the downtown span of Zebulon’s main thoroughfare is in line for an overhaul.
Weather permitting, the Fred Smith Company is contracted by the N.C. Department of Transportation to resurface Arendell Avenue from Gannon Avenue to the railroad tracks on the south end of downtown from May 1-4.
The resurfacing is part of an annual, county-wide project by the DOT.
The need for the work is great. The 200 block stretch (near Gannon Avenue) was last paved about 10 years ago. The 100 block of Arendell Avenue was last paved in 1999.
“It definitely is cracking from the wear and tear,” said Zebulon Public Works Director Chris Ray. “Anytime it cracks and water gets into stone base, it has an adverse effect and deteriorates the roadway. Traffic is definitely a big key to it, and a lot of this is age – especially the portion from 1999. That’s 16 years ago.”
The town is getting its wish after pleading for the DOT-maintained section to be revamped.
“Every time we’ve got a chance the last couple years, we asked the DOT to consider this resurfacing because of the condition,” Ray said.
David Moore, a resident engineer with DOT, said traffic will be maintained throughout the project but that commuters passing through the corridor can expect to see flagmen and short waiting periods as traffic is limited to one lane.
Downtown businesses can count on extra noise as work crews tear up one layer of asphalt and put a new layer down, and streetside parking may be impacted during the work. Entryways to businesses may see temporary blockages, but nothing long-term, Moore said.
“Basically it is mill an inch and a half and then pave back an inch and a half,” Moore said. “It’s about a quarter-mile through there, so the work should go pretty quick.
“They may choose to work at night, so that may mean less of an impact during the day. One reason they may do that is there would be way less traffic at night than during the day.”
In the event of any setbacks, Moore said the project time line will be updated through the Traveler Information Management System on the N.C. DOT website, ncdot.gov/travel.