Southwest Wake News

Holly Springs picks top road projects

Town leaders have identified Holly Springs’ neediest roads and want state transportation authorities to help fix them.

During the Holly Springs Town Council’s retreat to Southern Pines Feb. 21, council members endorsed a town staff strategy to seek funding from the state Department of Transportation for portions of Main Street, Avent Ferry Road, Holly Springs Road and Sunset Lake Road.

Mayor Dick Spears said he would be happy if the DOT contributed 80 percent of the funding with the town picking up the balance.

“If they can do the whole thing, that’d be great,” he said.

Kendra Parrish, the town’s engineering director, said staff wants to add a median and widen to four lanes the following roads:

▪ Main Street from Holly Springs Road to the North Main Athletic Complex

▪ Avent Ferry Road from Piney Grove Wilbon Road to Cass Holt Road

▪ Holly Springs Road from Main Street to Linksland Drive, and

▪ Sunset Lake Road from Kenmont Drive to Lockley Road.

The cost of each road project ranges from $3.5 to $7 million, Parrish said.

Rather than take on the full financial burden of each project, Holly Springs staff is lobbying DOT and the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization to designate the projects as high priority.

“We are aggressively pursuing this conversation and commitment with CAMPO and NCDOT,” Parrish wrote in an email. “I hope we will know within the next 6-9 months.”

The N.C. DOT is currently compiling a list of projects for its new 10-year to-do list, known as the State Transportation Improvement Program, or STIP. A draft list includes 1,073 projects across the state’s 100 counties. Due to limited funding, the department plans to whittle the list to 559 projects by the start of summer.

Holly Springs hopes to land at least one of its four widening projects on the list before the General Assembly approves it later this year.

Sears recently was elected chairman of CAMPO, a transportation agency that serves Wake, Johnston, Harnett, Franklin and Granville counties.

He said the town’s case for the Avent Ferry widening project, in particular, has a better chance of receiving funding because the town is already working on the road.

During last year’s retreat, the Holly Springs council endorsed a redesign and funding strategy for the intersection of Avent Ferry Road and the N.C. 55 Bypass.

To reduce rush hour traffic backups at the intersection, the town plans to realign it so that drivers on Avent Ferry must turn right onto the bypass, then make a U-turn at a cut-through before turning right to get to the other side of the intersection.

It took less than a year for the town to acquire $1 million in outside funding for the $1.6 million project.

Sears hopes the town has similar success this year. In his new role as CAMPO chairman, he said he gets to speak with state transportation officials “a little more than the norm, and that’s a good thing.”

Specht: 919-460-2608;

Twitter: @AndySpecht