The Town of Wake Forest has recently announced updates about four bridge replacement projects that have been scheduled by the North Carolina Department of Transportation. The projects were slated to begin in January of 2015 and continue through August of 2016. Those bridges are located along West Oak Avenue, Purnell Road, Forestville Road and Rogers Road.
In an effort to reduce the impact of these projects on those who live and travel through the affected areas, there is a link on the Town of Wake Forest website that will provide comprehensive information. To view the project timeline, detours & maps, visit the Operation Bridge Exchange website.
The West Oak Street Bridge location (spanning Richland Creek) is now scheduled to begin in late September. Construction is expected to continue late into Spring of 2016. The closure is longer than initially anticipated because the change of the start date is now in the fall construction season, therefore, the amount of work that can occur prior to the onset of winter weather is limited. According to the Town’s website, “The bridge has been deemed functionally obsolete. This means that while the bridge remains safe, it require repairs and was built to design standards no longer used for bridges. It also needs to be replaced to meet current and future traffic demands.” Demolition of the current bridge and construction of the new bridge will take place in the fall with grading and paving beginning at the end of winter in 2016. Traffic will be directed to use Harris Road and North Main Street to bypass the bridge construction during the duration of this project.
The second location is on Purnell Road; construction is underway and should be completed mid summer. The bridge has also been deemed functionally obsolete. Traffic will be directed to use Capital Boulevard, Jenkins Road and Thompson Mill Road to bypass the bridge construction during the duration of this project. The new, two lane bridge will meet current bridge design standards.
Bridge number 3 is located on Forestville Road. Construction is expected to begin July 1 and go into November. While this location has also been deemed functionally obsolete, the Town’s website states “Once completed, the project is expected to improve capacity and safety and relieve the bottlenecks that occur in the area during morning and afternoon rush hours.” That sounds good to me! The website also states, ” According to the revised schedule, NCDOT will replace the existing bridge on Forestville Road in July 2015 with a three-lane bridge that includes a sidewalk on the Heritage High School or western side of the structure, as well as a pedestrian underpass to accommodate users wishing to access the Smith Creek and Sanford Creek Greenways.” Traffic will be directed to use Rogers Road, South Main Street and Burlington Mills Road to bypass the bridge construction during the duration of this project.
The 4th location is on Rogers Road and is expected to begin in March 2016. The project is estimated to be completed in August. The two lane bridge will be replaced by a 5 lane bridge and widen from two to five lanes the portion of Rogers Road from Hope Lutheran Church to Forestville Road. After completion, it is expected that capacity will be improved and there will be relief for the bottlenecks that occur during school rush hours. Traffic will be directed to use Heritage Lake Road, Dr. Calvin Jones Highway/NC 98 Bypass and South Main Street to bypass the bridge construction during the duration of this project.
There is no doubt that big changes are happening in this town every day. With growth, growing pains are to be expected; let’s all try to be patient and keep the safety of our families & neighbors in mind while navigating through these projects. Hey! Speaking of our neighbors, the people of Wake Forest sure are “Happy” to be here. Don’t believe me? Check out the video made by community locals featuring the smash hit “Happy” by Grammy Award winning artist Pharell Williams. Even Mayor Vivian Jones and some of our town commissioners took to the streets with their dancing feet! https://youtu.be/u9-Uzs6zNL8
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