Road improvement projects that will relieve congestion in one of the most traffic-congested areas in Holly Springs are expected to begin in April after years of planning.
On March 15, the Holly Springs Town Council approved project budgets and awarded contracts for the Main Street extension and improvements to the intersection of N.C. 55 and Avent Ferry Road. The projects will cost more than $14.5 million.
“This is a very celebratory moment and a very pivotal moment,” Engineering Director Kendra Parrish said at the meeting.
Construction at the intersection of N.C. 55 and Avent Ferry Road, which will create a type of superstreet, is expected to be complete by the end of the year. The Main Street extension project likely will take about a year and a half.
As part of the Main Street extension project, the road 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 idea for the extension began in 2007, but obtaining nine permits and acquiring up to 60 properties required a significant amount of work by town staff to see the project come to fruition.
Another major obstacle for the project was securing the necessary funding. The town will be responsible for paying about one-third of the total.
The projects were delayed a few months after construction bids came in over budget in December. Town staff worked to secure additionally state and federal funding to cover some of the overage.
“This could have been done a little bit faster but we probably would have had to raise taxes,” Parrish said.
The Holly Springs Town Council and staff also agreed that taxpayers shouldn’t need to pay for the entire project when 70 percent of the cars that travel on N.C. 55 are passing through from out of town.
“I think this council and staff feels that Holly Springs should pay its equitable share but should not pay for the totality of improvements,” Town Manager Chuck Simmons said.
Kathryn Trogdon: 919-460-2608; @KTrogdon