ROLESVILLE — The final phase of construction is underway on a bypass that is designed to help commuters skip a stop-and-go drive through downtown Rolesville.
The N.C. Department of Transportation expects the $25 million bypass to open in September and ease congestion in the fast-growing area.
Rolesville’s population grew from 907 in 2000 to 3,786 in 2010, and an estimated 4,263 in 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The four-lane, six-mile bypass will swing east of existing 401, starting near Louisbury Road and ending near N.C. 96.
Drivers also will be able to enter and exit the bypass at Jonesville Road, Rolesville Road and Pulleytown Road.
DOT officials said the bypass is expected to divert a significant number of the 30,000 vehicles that travel through downtown on U.S. 401 each day.
The road was originally slated for completion in July, but the construction schedule was pushed back by bad weather, a need for more rock blasting than expected, and a subcontractor that went out of business.
More than 60 residents from the area gathered at the Rolesville Town Hall to get the details on the plan from DOT officials on Tuesday.
Rumors have swirled about when the project will be finished, and residents are eager for specifics about how the traffic patterns will change in their neighborhoods.
Charles Johnson, who attended Tuesday’s meeting, said he thought the details were helpful, though he’s skeptical about some of DOT’s traffic projections.
“They’re doing all they can, but it’s not easy. Traffic is traffic,” he said.
The three access points on the bypass will have a “superstreet” design rather than a conventional intersection.
Drivers who want to go straight through the intersection or turn left onto the bypass will need to make a right and then a U-turn about 800 feet down the road.
“The U-turn movement will become second nature to everyone,” said Wally Bowman, a DOT division engineer.
The Rolesville Road access point will have traffic signals while Jonesville and Pulleytown Roads will not.
Bowman said additional signals can be added if needed.
The concrete medians in the superstreet intersections are designed so that emergency vehicles can drive over them in an emergency.
Sheilah Sutton urged DOT to provide frequent updates on the project in its final months, so that residents know what to expect and when.
“Absent communication, you get a lot of gossip,” she said. “And then it’s not always true.”
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