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Some Raleigh residents upset about plan to expand Falls of Neuse Road

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) -- Raleigh keeps growing every day and city leaders are faced with the challenge of accommodating that growth.

But one solution to growth has hundreds of homeowners near Falls of Neuse Road upset.

For months, they've said they don't want to see an expansion of Falls of Neuse Road from four lanes to six between I-540 and Durant Road.

Tuesday, Raleigh City Council discussed the topic as a part of a work session.

"The problem is that they're not taking into account the fact that when you widen a road, it's going to bring all the extra traffic down," said Lynda Harrison, a nearby homeowner. "But, you're facing a bottleneck when you get to 540."

William Graham lives right next to Falls of Neuse. He walks in the area with his dog Gibson.

Graham is legally blind and Gibson is a leader dog who helps him when they go for a walk.

"With Gibson, he can take me across Falls of Neuse which is a very busy road, but he can get me across that road safely," said Graham.

Graham said it is tough to do with four lanes. With six, he said it would be very difficult.

Many of Graham's neighbors also told CBS North Carolina they believe the expansion would make congestion worse, not better.

"I think this is our last chance to kill this," said Lynne Beaman, a homeowner in the area.

Beaman was referring to the work session with Raleigh city councilmembers.

CBS North Carolina asked Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane for her response to the concerns.

"The traffic in that area is bad," she said. "Anybody that's driven through there knows how bad it is. But, they have to understand that the widening of Falls of Neuse is part of a larger plan."

A plan, she said, of addressing growth and redeveloping several North Raleigh highways.

"A lot of the long-range planning is what we're doing with what we know now and how many people we anticipate," said McFarlane.

Many of the neighbors said they would just like to see a different plan.

"It's going to make it like Capital Boulevard," said Harrison.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation has said the project will help ease congestion in the area.

McFarlane said part of the discussion is also about expanding Falls of Neuse Road to six lanes north of Durant Road, to Highway 98.

No decisions were made at the council's work session.

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