Streetscape Improvements Along South Academy Street and Dry Avenue

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Project Background

The Town identified South Academy Street as a “signature street” critical to the successful redevelopment of downtown Cary. The Street's view and ambiance is often cited as the element that makes downtown Cary unique. The Town hopes to capitalize on that ambiance by making South Academy even more attractive to residents and visitors as a place to hold downtown festivals, events, concerts and other activities to support downtown businesses and complement the activities of the new Cary Arts Center. In addition to allowing better use of South Academy for special events, the improvements have other benefits for traffic movement, traffic calming, aesthetics, and pedestrian and handicapped accessibility and comfort.

This project contributes to the overall quality of life in Cary by:

  • Completing a key element of the Town’s strategy to revitalize Downtown Cary
  •  Furthering the downtown area as the cultural center of Cary
  •  Improving pedestrian mobility in the downtown area
  •  Enhancing and preserving the Downtown Cary Historic District
  •  Potentially spurring new private investment in downtown Cary

Project Design Highlights

This project creates a visually enhanced street section of South Academy Street and Dry Avenue in the area between Chatham Street and Walnut Street that can serve as a setting for street festivals and other activities designed to attract visitors to Downtown Cary. Planned improvements include enhanced pedestrian spaces, upgraded sidewalks, unique streetscape elements, landscaping and utilities.

Public Involvement

The Town hosted two public meetings for citizens to view updated designs and learn about this project and the downtown park project. Public Meeting #1 was September 24, 2013. Public Meeting #2 was May 12, 2014.  

Project Cost and Schedule

The estimated total project cost is $8,000,000, which included design and construction. Funding for this project was approved by Cary voters as part of the 2012 Community Investment Bonds referendum.

Rendering+from+Chatham+-+fullThe schedule for this project was:

  • Design (spring 2013 - fall 2014)
  • Construction (spring 2015 - fall 2016, includes time for bidding the construction element of the work)

At the May 9, 2013 Cary Town Council meeting, Clark Nexsen was awarded the contract for urban planning, design and construction administration for the Academy Street Improvements Project in the amount $480,334.

Construction Updates


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Related Links


Kyle Hubert, PE
Project Engineer
Transportation & Facilities Department
Town of Cary
(919) 462-3938