With construction expected to start in less than a year, Holly Springs is holding a meeting to explain the changes it’s planning at one of the town’s busiest intersections.
The town scheduled an informal meeting Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Holly Springs Cultural Center so residents can learn about upcoming changes to the intersection of N.C. 55 Bypass and Avent Ferry Road.
“It’s a way for people on their way home from work to stop by and see how the intersection will and won’t change,” said Mark Andrews, spokesman for Holly Springs.
“Folks will have a chance to look at maps and talk to our engineers and consultants with (the Department of Transportation),” he said.
Construction is expected to start June or July 2015 and finish by December 2015, Andrews said.
Holly Springs is paying $600,000 toward the $1.6 million project. The DOT and General Assembly is footing the rest of the bill.
The bypass and Avent Ferry Road are part of DOTs jurisdiction.
State leaders such as Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam of Apex and Sen. Tamara Barringer – who secured the funding – said changes are a “critical need” for southern Wake because the area is growing so fast.
Traffic at the intersection has worsened as schools and residential developments have popped up on the south side of the 55 Bypass.
About 21,000 vehicles use Avent Ferry Road each day, though the road was designed to handle only 14,000 vehicles per day, according to town staff.
The goal of the planned changes is to reduced the number of drivers stuck at stop lights by prohibiting vehicles on Avent Ferry from driving straight across the bypass.
Under the plan, the intersection will be realigned so that drivers on Avent Ferry must turn right onto the bypass, then make a U-turn at a cut-through and then turn right to get to the other side of the intersection.
The plan also prevents traffic from turning left off of the bypass.
Engineers hope to add an extra right-turn lane on southbound N.C. 55 to reduce traffic back-ups that typically occur in the evenings as many drivers turn right onto Avent Ferry Road.