Wake County

Section of South Boylan Avenue in Raleigh will close for over a year starting Monday

One block of South Boylan Avenue, between Hillsborough and Morgan streets, will be closed for more than a year starting Monday.
One block of South Boylan Avenue, between Hillsborough and Morgan streets, will be closed for more than a year starting Monday. City of Raleigh

A section of South Boylan Avenue will be closed for more than a year starting Monday while contractors build an office tower and a parking deck on either side of the street.

Boylan is expected to be closed to cars, cyclists and pedestrians between Hillsborough and Morgan streets through December 2020, according to the city.

The 10-story office tower, on the east side of Boylan, will be a companion to the new One Glenwood building that occupies the eastern end of the block. The developer, Heritage Properties Inc., is also building a 655-space parking deck on the west side of Boylan, along Hillsborough Street.

The bike lane and sidewalk on the south side of Hillsborough Street have already been closed, as has one westbound lane of Morgan Street and the sidewalk there. They will remain closed while Boylan is shut down.

The city closed sidewalks and lanes along Glenwood and Morgan while One Glenwood went up, but the streets were not shut down for long periods. Ken Dunn, the city’s right-of-way manager, said the difference is that Boylan is narrower and that with construction occurring on both sides of the street there’s no way to safely keep it open.

It’s unusual for the city to close a street for construction on private property, Dunn said. A block of West Hargett Street was closed to cars for several months while apartments were built on both sides of the street, though pedestrians could walk through a tunnel of connected steel containers.

The city didn’t think containers would be strong enough to protect people on Boylan, in a construction zone for a high-rise building and a parking deck, Dunn said.

“Containers will help with bricks or windows,” he said. “If it’s girders, really heavy structural pieces, those containers don’t help a lot.”

While Boylan is closed, drivers, pedestrians and cyclists will be directed to use either St. Mary’s Street or Glenwood Avenue. When Heritage Properties finishes the project, it will leave 14-foot-wide sidewalks along Morgan, Boylan and Hillsborough planted with street trees, replacing the old five-foot sidewalks.

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.