Southwest Wake News

Fuquay-Varina seeks input on Judd Parkway construction

Residents are invited to help choose plans to finish Judd Parkway, which will form a loop around town in the hopes of decreasing traffic congestion.

The Town of Fuquay-Varina and the N.C. Department of Transportation are hosting a public information session from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 2, at the Fuquay-Varina Town Hall. People can view plans for the road at the meeting and submit a comment on their preference.

Once complete, the road will encircle downtown and nearby commercial developments, allowing traffic to more easily bypass busy roads in the area.

Judd Parkway is 75 percent finished, running clockwise from Broad Street north of Fuquay-Varina High School to Main Street near Sunset Lake Road in the east, then Holland Road and U.S. 401 in the south before connecting with West Academy Street/N.C. 42.

The final northwest piece of the road, which is the topic of Tuesday’s meeting, will stretch from West Academy Street to Broad Street through the area of Wilbon Road.

The proposed road will be four lanes with curb and gutter, a grass median, 4-foot bicycle lanes in both directions and sidewalks on both sides, according to the town’s website.

Officials originally had seven plans but whittled those down in 2013 to the current three after receiving input from residents. Concerns about the effects on certain businesses and future neighborhood growth contributed to the elimination of some plans, along with other factors.

“There’s a process that DOT goes through,” town engineer Tracy Stephenson said. “At that point it was based on technical feasibility, environmental impact and all those things,” including nearby wildlife habitats or historic structures.

The three remaining potential routes generally follow the same path, with some variations.

All follow Wilbon Road until about halfway between Broad Street and Coley Farm Road, then turn south into undeveloped land to the west of the Lincoln Heights neighborhood. They all continue through the Lenzie Heights neighborhood just before connecting with N.C. 42 near Ashworth Oil And Gas.

A map can be found online at bit.ly/1cjrgDn. The routes under consideration are in red.

No matter which plan is ultimately chosen for this final northwest section, its completion depends on voters in November, at least for now. With no state or federal help on the construction of the road, the town has proposed a bond to be placed on the ballot to fund the project.

It’s still unclear, however, how much money the bond could entail and whether it would necessitate a property tax increase.

The rest of Judd Parkway was funded by an $8 million bond passed in 2007.

After town leaders agreed to a bond last month, they said they believe residents will support it as well.

“If I had to look at one of the issues that’s the No. 1 issue, not only in Fuquay-Varina but all the southern towns, it’s transportation,” Mayor John Byrne said at the time.

Tuesday’s meeting is informal with no speeches or presentations. Maps also can be viewed at the Fuquay-Varina Town Hall or the DOT office at 4009 District Drive, Raleigh.

Officials are also accepting written comments on the plans until June 30.

Comment cards will be passed out at the meeting, or people can send comments to the project manager, Tracy Stephenson. He can be reached at 401 Old Honeycutt Road, Fuquay-Varina, NC, 27526 or tstephenson@fuquay-varina.org.

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

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