The N.C. Department of Transportation will soon begin replacing the Capital Boulevard bridge over Peace Street, but it is motorists on Peace who will be affected the most.
Starting Wednesday night, Sept. 6, workers will squeeze Peace Street from four lanes down to two – one lane in each direction. The lane closures are needed so workers can build the piers that will hold up the new bridge.
The lanes will remain closed until early next summer, said Derrick Matthews, the project engineer.
The work is part of a $36.9 million project to remake a 1-mile stretch of Capital Boulevard just north of downtown. It includes realigning the road, adding sidewalks and a 10-foot grassy median and replacing the Peace Street bridge and the Wade Avenue bridge over Capital. The Peace Street interchange will also be reconfigured.
So far, workers have demolished several buildings along the corridor and built the piers and set the girders for the new Wade Avenue bridge. The entire project won’t be completed until late 2019.
Matthews said that in the coming weeks workers will begin temporarily closing lanes on Capital Boulevard on nights and weekends but that all lanes will remain open during the day on weekdays. The first segment of the Peace Street bridge will be built just to the west of the existing one, so traffic can be shifted on to it before part of the old bridge is demolished.
“We’re doing this on nights and weekends to try to alleviate some of the traffic problems. That will hopefully reduce the backups during the work week,” Matthews said. “The message to the public is just be cautious, be safe, be patient while you’re riding through.”