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More lanes planned for Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh, but the details remain unclear

NCDOT’s reduced-conflict intersections

The state Department of Transportation has come up with two options for widening a four-mile stretch of Glenwood Avenue in northwestern Raleigh, and one of them would include several of these "reduced-conflict intersections."
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The state Department of Transportation has come up with two options for widening a four-mile stretch of Glenwood Avenue in northwestern Raleigh, and one of them would include several of these "reduced-conflict intersections."

Nearly seven years ago, the N.C. Department of Transportation asked drivers what they thought about adding lanes to Glenwood Avenue in northwestern Raleigh. Then it put the whole idea on hold.

Now NCDOT has resurrected the project and is back with two options for widening Glenwood — one with six lanes of traffic and the other with eight. But it’s possible construction will be delayed again.

The state plans to widen a four-mile stretch of U.S. 70 from Hilburn Drive, near the Lowe’s Home Improvement store, out to Interstate 540, near Raleigh-Durham International Airport. It will present the options and accept feedback at a public meeting Monday evening at the Embassy Suites in Brier Creek.

This stretch of Glenwood, which is also U.S. 70, is now a four-lane road divided by a grassy median. A median would remain after the road is widened.

Besides the number of lanes, the two options differ in the details. The eight-lane version would maintain the intersections as they currently exist along that stretch of Glenwood.

The six-lane version, though, would redesign several intersections to allow only right turns from side streets on to Glenwood. Drivers wishing to turn left or go straight through the intersection would first go right onto Glenwood, then use a nearby U-turn lane to switch directions.

These so-called “reduced-conflict intersections” are designed to improve traffic flow on Glenwood and to be safer, by reducing the chances drivers will hit each other. The intersection where Marvino Lane and Kodiak Drive meet Glenwood already uses such a design, though without the nearby U-turn sites.

Both designs call for finishing Winchester Drive, pieces of which parallel Glenwood on the south side, from Ebenezer Church Road to Fleetwood Drive. They also both include a multi-use path on the south side of Glenwood, from Lumley Road to West Millbrook Road.

The NCDOT wants to see what people think of the two designs and will likely modify them before picking one.

The agency resumed working on these designs last summer, when it appeared that the state would begin acquiring the land it needs to widen the road in 2021. But proposed changes to NCDOT’s 10-year plan would push that date back to 2024, with construction not scheduled to begin until 2028.

Still, the state plans to finish planning and the environmental studies for the project, in case it is able to find the money to begin the work sooner, said April Annis, the project manager.

“I hope that the public doesn’t get frustrated with us, with all these date changes,” Annis said.

NCDOT will display its plans for Glenwood Avenue at the Embassy Suites at 8001 Arco Corporate Dr., off Brier Creek Parkway, from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday. There will be no formal presentation; the public is free to come and go and view the maps and ask questions during those hours.

For more information or to comment, go to publicinput.com/US70-I-540-Hilburn.

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Richard Stradling covers transportation for The News & Observer. Planes, trains and automobiles, plus ferries, bicycles, scooters and just plain walking. Also, #census2020. He’s been a reporter or editor for 32 years, including the last 20 at The N&O. 919-829-4739, rstradling@newsobserver.com.
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