The Falls of Neuse Road construction corridor is going green.
Crews completed the landscaping for phase one of the roadway’s realignment and widening project earlier this month. Plantings have been added to the section between Fonville Road and the twin bridges across the Neuse River that was completed in October 2011.
Sylvester Percival, project manager for the realignment and widening with the city of Raleigh, said the plants will help integrate the new roadway that runs through residential neighborhoods and alongside the Neuse River Trail.
“Even though we refer to it as roadway improvements, we look at those hardscape improvements as well,” Percival said. “The landscaping is proposed to soften the corridor, give it more of a rural feel and really go with the surrounding development.”
Landscaping for phase two of the Falls of Neuse project, from Raven Ridge Road to Fonville Road, will begin in February.
February is also the targeted date for construction to end along phase two. The project is wrapping up a few months ahead of the original schedule.
Davis Landscaping of Raleigh won the contract to landscape both phases of the Falls of Neuse project at a cost just under $300,000.
Under the direction of OBS Landscape Architects of Raleigh, Davis Landscaping installed 222 trees, including magnolias, crape myrtles and oaks, as well as 60 shrubs, many of them Steeds Hollies and lorapetalums. The project also included 2632 ornamental grasses.
Mark Wilcox, project manager for Davis Landscaping, said the contract with the city includes maintaining the plants for the next two years. Trucks have been moving through the area watering the new beds.
Phase two will be planted with 197 trees, 800 shrubs and 2,000 more ornamental grasses, Wilcox said.
Carol Abraham, a homeowner who lives adjacent to Falls of Neuse Road, said the landscaping is coming along nicely, but she is ready for the project to end.
“So far so good – I think it will look better next spring,” Abraham said. “I’ll be glad when the road is done. I lived through building 540 years ago and now this.”
Percival said he appreciates the patience of neighbors in and around the construction zone as the project gets closer to completion.
“I like to think of it as a New Year’s gift to residents,” Percival said.