Cary News

Morrisville traffic snarls as parkway construction begins

Traffic is a constant headache for drivers in Morrisville, and it just got a lot worse for the next six months.

The closure of part of Morrisville Parkway near Park West Village was expected to cause headaches.

It has, with traffic backed up over the first few days for far longer than normal. One man complained on the town’s Facebook page that it took him an hour to make the 5-mile drive between work and home in both the morning and evening rush hours.

Benjamin Howell, the town’s transportation engineer, said the Town of Cary has been monitoring traffic on the detour routes where they can, and changing light patterns in real time when they see delays.

“But there are areas where they don’t have cameras,” Howell said. “That’s why we’re having backups. Especially in the mornings.”

There also were concerns about semi-trucks cutting through residential neighborhoods, Howell said Tuesday Feb. 9, the day after the closure started.

“We’re hoping that after this first week, everything will sort of die down,” he said. “People will get used to this new way to get around town, and it won’t be like this for six months. Hopefully.”

Crews are raising the railroad tracks and building a bridge above the road to prevent future backups.

Drivers who normally travel on Morrisville Parkway between Bristol Creek Drive and Crabtree Crossing Parkway will need to take a detour.

Howell said the closure likely won’t take more than six months because the federally funded project has “some pretty stiff penalties” if the construction crews take more than 180 days.

Future road construction projects

Morrisville is also anticipating another major road construction project, although not for several more years. Aviation Parkway eventually will be widened between N.C. 54 and Interstate 40. The goal is to make the entire road a four-lane, divided highway.

The first of many public meetings about the project will be held Thursday, Feb. 18, from 4-7 p.m. at Morrisville Town Hall.

On the other side of N.C. 54, Morrisville also recently held a public meeting on a widening project on Morrisville-Carpenter Road. Comments can be submitted by March 4. Details and documents can be found on the town’s website. The project will widen the road between N.C. 54 and Davis Drive.

Construction on a separate town road project, the first phase of the N.C. 54 bypass/McCrimmon Parkway Extension, will begin this summer with a completion date of fall 2017. The second phase will begin construction in summer 2017 with a completion date of fall 2018.

Doran: 919-460-2604; Twitter: @will_doran

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