RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The North Carolina Department of Transportation said it takes four times longer to pass through a busy section of Capital Boulevard at its peak times than non-peak times. It’s why it is now planning for future upgrades.
NCDOT is focusing on the portion of U.S. 1/Capital Boulevard between Interstate 540 in Raleigh and Purnell/Harris Road in Wake Forest.
NCDOT said between 32,000 and 65,000 vehicles travel through that stretch a day. By 2040, it’s expected that traffic to be as high as 75,000 per day. NCDOT said upgrades could relieve congestion and travel time. The project would cost about $750 million.
“We know [traffic] is an issue so this project will eliminate stop lights, private road entrances, and that sort of thing and turning this into a freeway,” said Marty Homan with the NCDOT.
The state is planning to turn the two lane road into a four-lane freeway with paved shoulder lanes on each side. Drivers would only be able to get on using interchanges. Service roads would be used to access businesses alongside the road.
“This is a major project. This is about a 10-mile stretch all told from I-540 to Wake Forest,” Homan said.
The first section scheduled for work would be from I-540 to Durant/Perry Creek Road. The state expects a company would be chosen for the project by October 2024.
The state is asking drivers and residents for their input before finalizing plan.
“Their input is vital. We need it. They live there. They drive through there. They know that area the best,” said Homan.