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.
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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.