A construction company has been given the green light to begin work on the long-awaited Falls of Neuse Road extension, a project that will widen the heavily used road north of Raven Ridge Road and run it across the Neuse River and connect it with the new Falls of Neuse Road.
Wakefield Plantation residents have long anticipated the project, which will give them a southern route that is an alternative to either crowded Capital Boulevard or the existing narrow, winding, two-lane Falls of Neuse Road.
Margaret King, a Wakefield resident for the past eight years, said Friday she was "ecstatic" when she heard that work on the project was beginning.
"I have been agitating for this for awhile," said the 75-year-old retired office worker. "I'd be out there with a pick and shovel if I could."
DeVere Construction Company of Apex was given notice to proceed by the city on June 14 and will begin construction by June 29 at the latest. The work is part of phase one, which involves widening Falls of Neuse starting at Fonville Road and heading north, and building a new road that will connect with a new bridge over the Neuse River and connect with the new Falls of Neuse Road. That section is being built first so the state can tear down the old Falls of Neuse Road bridge and replace it as soon as possible, according to Carl Dawson, head of the Raleigh Public Works Department. The extension of Falls of Neuse will provide a detour for motorists while the old bridge is replaced.
The widening of Falls of Neuse south of Fonville Road is part of phase two.
Phase one should be open to traffic by Dec. 20, 2011, said Sylvester Percival, the project engineer.
The construction cost for phase one is $7.5 million. The cost for the entire project is $29 million. Phase two is expected to be completed by the spring of 2013.