Leesville Road sees heavy traffic every day, with some 24-30 thousand vehicles commuting on the road each day. The traffic is especially bad during the early morning rush hour, school start and stop times, and during the afternoon rush hour. Each year it seems that the road gets more and more congested.
The City of Raleigh’s answer to Leesville Road commuters and neighbors was to widen the worst stretch of road, between I-540 and New Leesville Road.
For months now, the orange cones have been out and paving crews and construction teams have been lining the sides of Leesville Road during the work day. It’s not a very pretty site to look at, but it’s not going away anytime soon.
As of November 24, the last update recorded on the City of Raleigh project webpage, the project was not even a quarter of the way done. A mere 10% of the project is completed, which leaves a whopping 90% more of the project to finish. Yes, 90% more until completion.
Yet, despite the seeming slowness of the project, the projected finish date has not yet been adjusted and still remains September 2015. Leesville area residents can breathe a sigh of relief.
Already finished items are hard to come by at this point in the project, and the construction is taking place in many different phases. The first phase was the section just past I-540, and that part is nearing completion. However, once you get to the Leesville/Norwood intersection and beyond, there is little progress. This is largely in part due to the leveling process of the new areas to be paved and clearing out land that will be used for the new lanes.
So, with all of that said, the project has a ways to go, but there is no doubt that it will be a huge improvement considering the amount of schools, businesses, and residential areas directly off of the road.
Features will include: (as noted in the earlier article about the project) sidewalks, a biking lane, new landscaping to compliment the area, and, of course, new, sleek pavement and that wonderful addition of two lanes.
Leesville road junior Ashley Priest said, “Living off of that section of leesville can be frustrating trying to exit my neighborhood or get back in. There’s always traffic. But once it’s done, it will be a great change.”
Businesses like the Christmas Tree stop at the corner of Norwood and Leesville also had to deal with the traffic and odd traffic patterns for a while.
“It wasn’t fun, because some of our customers had to walk across the street at times to get to our display. Surprisingly though our business hasn’t been hurt too much by it at all,” said Leesville Road student and Christmas tree farm employee Nate Calloway.
Keep fingers crossed and hope that this project moves along as quickly as possible. Also making sure to heed all construction zone speed limits in the project zone.
For any additional info or for periodic project updates, you can go to the City of Raleigh website and pull up their page on the project.