A busy intersection in this southern Wake County town is getting a big makeover.
Crews will widen lanes and add new turn lanes on Old Honeycutt Road at the intersection with Purfoy Road in Fuquay-Varina. The $1.2 million project is set to begin next year.
As part of the project, crews also will install turn-lane traffic signals and upgrade crosswalks, said Town Manager Adam Mitchell.
A grant from the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization will cover three quarters of the cost of the project, and the town will cover the remaining 25 percent.
This is one of many grants Fuquay-Varina has received in the past few years. The town has gotten $15 million from CAMPO, the N.C. Department of Transportation and other sources for road projects, and Mitchell said the town board is applying for more.
Fuquay-Varina leaders are focusing on roads as the town continues to grow. The town’s population was about 6,800 two decades ago; it’s expected to reach 30,000 this summer. By 2020, Mitchell expects 35,000 people to call Fuquay-Varina home.
In 2015, voters agreed to borrow $21 million for road projects.
“Elected officials really understand the impact growth has on the community,” said Mitchell. “They do a good job of setting a vision for our community and instructing me on how they wish to see that carried out.”
Several other projects are in the works:
▪ Judd Parkway, which will eventually form a loop around downtown Fuquay-Varina, also is getting some bond money and grants. The parkway, which has been under construction since the mid-1990s, will undergo the final stage of construction this summer.
▪ Several other intersections will experience revamps within the next few years, especially where roads cross Main Street and Judd Parkway. The intersection of those two roads is currently under construction, a $7.5 million project.
▪ Roads aren’t the only thing affected by growth. In 2016, the town spent $34 million to triple the capacity of the Terrible Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant to 3 million gallons a day. The expansion will wrap up in November.
▪ Plans to build a new high school and several new elementary and middle schools in the area are being discussed, along with an $80 million refurbishing of Fuquay-Varina High School.
▪ A $43 million downtown mixed-use project will include 20,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space and up to 250 apartments above.
Two business expansions
Jim Seymour, the town’s economic development director, said Fuquay-Varina is seeing the kind of new development that is cropping up throughout the Triangle.
The town has a strategy that was adopted in 2014 to help guide growth.
“We’re going to keep going until all of the initiatives are a hundred percent done,” Seymour said, adding that the town must ensure that infrastructure keeps up with the changes.
Seymour said the town already is seeing success. Two of Fuquay-Varina’s largest businesses — detention-center supplier Bob Barker Co. and Aviator Brewing Company — spent a combined $12 million to expand. The investment is putting about $22 back into the town’s economy for every public dollar spent, according to Seymour.
Mitchell said Fuquay-Varina residents should also expect to see new and improved parks, sports and arts complexes and shopping centers in the next few years.