Morrisville Parkway Update

Those of us that travel on the western side of Cary are seeing a lot of road work at intersections along Morrisville Parkway. And more are coming.

Morrisville Parkway Extension
From Town of Cary

From Town of Cary

Town of Cary staff and consultants have been working to get the planning and design in place for the completion of the final segment of Morrisville Parkway between NC55 and Green Level Church Road. The developments on both ends of that segment of road are helping to expedite the construction – and will have nearly half of the length completed by summer of 2014.

The developers along Morrisville Parkway at Fryar Gate will build another 1,000 feet of this area over the next 18 months, leaving only the connections to the existing NC 540 bridge. The last ½ mile segment at the interchange has cleared a number of major environmental hurdles before going to the Federal Highway Administration for final review and approval. Construction is targeted for mid to late 2015.

Morrisville Parkway Railroad Grade Separation Project
From Town of Morrisville

From Town of Morrisville

Starting in April, the Morrisville Parkway/NC Railroad Grade Separation Project near Park West is planned to begin, with a scheduled completion date for May 2017.

What’s Happening?

The grade separation project will eliminate the at-grade crossing that is currently on Morrisville Parkway, just past Crabtree Crossing Drive in the Morrisville/Cary area. This will be done by building a bridge over the Morrisville Parkway, separating the vehicular road traffic from the rail traffic, sending cars underneath the railroad tracks. The project is part of a larger project to “double track” portions of the NC Rail Road corridor between Raleigh and Charlotte.

The goal is to increase safety by removing the at-grade crossing, while also realigning the curve. This realignment should improve track speeds and reduce travel times between Raleigh and Charlotte on the train. Also, moving cars under the tracks will reduce travel time for cars, and also increase capacity on Morrisville Parkway.

This will improve safety for automobile and rail passengers, and reduce automobile and train congestion and potential collisions.

Project Status, new intersections and lights

There’s good news: earlier in 2013, the NC Department of Transportation had announced that based on considerable public input, they chose to build the railroad bridge with a method that will take longer overall but reduce the crossing closure and associated detours from 36 months to 6-8 months.

But, there will still be an impact. Starting in April 2014, construction will begin. Morrisville Parkway will be closed for 7 days between April – June 2013 to facilitate the construction of a detour.

In order to facilitate this work, a new traffic signal will be installed at the intersection of Crabtree Crossing Parkway at Morrisville Parkway.

Also, the contractor will be making some improvements to three intersections that are located along the detour route. Those intersections are Town Hall Drive at Morrisville-Carpenter Road, Weston Parkway at NC54 (Chapel Hill Road), and Davis Drive at Morrisville Parkway. The improvements mainly consist of extending turn lane storage lengths to facilitate larger volumes of turning traffic and adjustments to signal timing.

Once those improvements and the detour is completed, Morrisville Parkway will be closed for up to 6 months, most likely from Feb-July 2016 – while the bridge is being constructed. During the closure, the off-site detour will be required.

Additional information
  •  – Cost: $16.6 million, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
  •  – Start of construction: April 2014
  •  – Targeted completion: May 2017
  •  – Project construction contract awarded to Fred Smith Company.
  •  – Visit NCDOT’s project webpage, or Morrisville’s page to learn more.

As always, thanks for listening and please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or concerns.

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Featured photo by Hugh Kimura

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