You should probably avoid Capital Boulevard near downtown Raleigh this weekend – and every weekend for a while.
Last weekend, crews started closing lanes on southbound Capital Boulevard as part of a project to replace two bridges. Detours and lane closures are now in place from 9 p.m. Fridays until 6 a.m. Mondays.
The state Department of Transportation is replacing the Wade Avenue bridge over Capital Boulevard and the Capital bridge over Peace Street. The three-year project, which started in September with a cost of $36.9 million, will require periodic traffic shifts and detours.
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Crews are working on a new Wade Avenue bridge. They are also tearing up the concrete underneath Capital Boulevard and will replace it with asphalt, said DOT engineer Derrick Matthews. For now, they are storing the old concrete on a site next to the road’s northbound lanes.
“Everything is going according to plan,” Matthews said.
Drivers should avoid the area on weekends if they can. Matthews’ other advice: Be careful, and be patient.
Here’s a rundown of some project highlights:
▪ Crews will build new ramps next to the existing ramps that connect Wade Avenue and Capital Boulevard.
▪ Southbound traffic on Capital Boulevard will use a new “square loop” ramp, exiting onto Johnson Street and then turning onto Harrington Street. Harrington will be extended to Peace Street.
▪ A new ramp will be added on the southeastern quadrant of Capital and Peace.
▪ A 13-foot grass median will be added to Capital Boulevard between Wade Avenue and Peace Street.
▪ Sidewalks will be added on both sides of Capital Boulevard, separated by a grass strip.
▪ Bike lanes will be added on Peace Street.
▪ Sidewalks on Peace Street and on the “square loop” will be widened to 14 feet.