Road improvements designed to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow at the intersection of N.C. 55 and Avent Ferry Roads in Holly Springs are expected to be completed by the end of November after years of planning.
In the meantime, construction continues on the Main Street extension project and plans are moving forward on the Avent Ferry Road widening project as part of a multi-pronged approach to reduce N.C. 55 traffic congestion – much of which comes from commuter traffic, Holly Springs Spokesman Mark Andrews said.
“The vicinity of N.C. 55 and Avent Ferry Road is the town’s No. 1 traffic priority,” he said in an email. “No single project will adequately deal with traffic on N.C. 55, especially since it’s a regional issue and not simply a town one.”
Work is expected to wrap up at the intersection of N.C. 55 and Avent Ferry Road the week of Thanksgiving following paving, installing pavement markings and possible signal timing tweaks, according to the town.
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“For now, construction barrels remain in place,” Andrews said. “They could affect views of approaching traffic so we’re asking drivers to be extra careful. Be on the lookout for construction workers and any temporary lane shifts as work winds down.”
The project, which began in April, is expected to cost $1.9 million with about $1.3 million in grant funding and $600,000 coming from the town.
To reduce congestion at the intersection, the project added new lanes and medians, as well as signal light changes to create a type of superstreet. U-Turn lanes, which replaced left turn lanes from N.C. 55 and through movements on Avent Ferry Road, opened Oct. 29.
The new traffic pattern is designed to allow more green light time for left turns off Avent Ferry onto N.C. 55 headed north and allow cars headed south on N.C. 55 to turn right on Avent Ferry Road without stopping.
“The intersection redesign is helping move Avent Ferry traffic to and from N.C. 55 during the morning and evening rush,” Andrews said. “The Main Street extension project under construction is also expected to reduce congestion at the 55/Avent Ferry intersection, especially during the morning rush.”
As part of the Main Street extension project, Main Street will be extended across N.C. 55 to Piney Grove-Wilbon Road, which will help move traffic to southern Holly Springs. It also will realign and extend Ralph Stephens and Piney Grove-Wilbon roads to create a new intersection.
The Main Street Extension project is expected to cost about $12.6 million with the town covering 32 percent of those costs and grants covering the rest.
Avent Ferry Road widening
The town also is in the process of moving forward with the widening of Avent Ferry Road to four lanes from N.C. 55 to Piney Grove-Wilbon Road.
Construction likely will begin in late 2017 and wrap up in early 2018, town engineers said. The project is expected to cost $2 million with $400,000 from the town and the rest covered by grant funding.
A later phase of the project would widen Avent Ferry Road from Piney Grove-Wilbon Road to Cass Holt Road.
Kathryn Trogdon: 919-460-2608: @KTrogdon