A portion of New Hill Road will be closed for more than three months to widen the road in time for a new elementary school to open Aug. 29.
The section, which stretches from Old Holly Springs-Apex Road to Green Oaks Parkway, will close March 28 or the following week. It will be closed for up to 100 days for widening in front of where the new Oakview Elementary School and a subdivision are being built.
Traffic will be detoured along Green Oaks Parkway. Signs along N.C. 55 will alert drivers to the closure date.
Oakview Elementary School, located at 11500 Holly Springs New Hill Road, is one of four new Wake County public elementary schools that will open for the 2016-17 school year.
The two-story, 102,000-square-foot building will serve up to 800 students from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade and will run on a traditional calendar. It is budgeted for $26.7 million.
Michael Lynch, a senior project manager for Wake County Public School System, said the project is on schedule, but the N.C. Department of Transportation requires the road in front of the school to be widened because of increased traffic.
Kendra Parrish, the town’s engineering director, said NCDOT doesn’t typically allow road closures for widening but made an exception in this case.
“What was unique about this situation was the time frame to get the widening done because the school has to open in August,” she said. “I think it’s everybody working together to try to make sure the school stays on schedule.”
The school’s road widening project also coincides with a similar project required for a portion of the same road in front of a proposed 150-home development.
Because the two projects coincided, Wake County Public School System and the developer, HHHunt Homes, decided to combine the two projects to get a better cost and hopefully a faster completion. As part of this joint effort, the developer will widen the entire required section, and WCPSS will pay the developer for the school’s portion.
There is a $5,000-per-day penalty if the developer doesn’t complete the project within 100 days.
Parrish said the road now serves between 8,000 and 9,000 vehicles per day – mainly 12 Oaks residents, out-of-town commuters and employees from the Holly Springs Business Park.
“We haven’t had much of an outcry,” she said. “It’s sort of a low-impact closing.
A temporary gravel road will provide access to emergency vehicles and to a few homes along the closed portion of the road.
Kathryn Trogdon: 919-460-2608, @KTrogdon