RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — More than 50,000 drivers use a stretch of Six Forks Road in Raleigh every day, but as a plan to improve it is delayed the costs keep rising by the millions.
At Tuesday’s Raleigh City Council meeting staffers will present options on how to move forward.
About six years ago the city approved the project’s funding, which at the time was $31.3 million. Now, the estimated cost is more than triple that at $119 million, according to city council documents.
“Market escalation has had a significant impact on the estimated cost of this project,” said Tim Canning.
Canning has lived near Six Forks Road for more than four decades and said it’s time for the city to revisit its plans for the road.
“The cost is beyond anything that’s reasonable,” Canning said. “So, I think the design needs to be changed and I think it’s been a tremendous waste of people’s time.”
About 95 properties would be impacted by the plan. For months the city has been working to acquire the land.
Canning said he’s been working with other neighbors to try and spread awareness about the project, including putting a lawn sign in his yard and making a several-foot-long rendering of what the road will look like.
“I think more focus needs to be placed on the safety, the lane width,” Canning said.
The original plan for the 1.9-mile stretch of Six Forks Road between Rowan St. and Lynn Rd. widens the road to three 10-foot lanes each way, places a grassy median in the middle, and separated bike lanes in each direction.
Drivers who use the road every day have different opinions on how the project should move forward.
Will Klinger said he likes the original plan.
“I’m all for it, If they can do it safely and make it better for bikes,” Klinger said. “I’m a cyclist myself and so, I’m all for helping to pay for it.”
Dona Osakwe said her main focus is drivers having more room in what she’s are too narrow lanes.
“Let’s just make it wider and give drivers more room, and I feel like that will cut down on traffic and make it safer,” Osakwe said.
He hopes city staff will present a plan that becomes reality.
“I think now’s as good a time as any to get the job done,” Canning said.
In the Fall of 2021, the city estimated the project would be complete in Fall of 2024. Now, the city’s website has an estimated completion in 2026.
The council meeting is at 1 p.m. Tuesday. Staff will also discuss the timelines for each option it presents.