Trinity Road Study
Strategically located on the eastern edge of Town and adjacent to I-40, the Eastern Cary Gateway serves as a key regional entrance into Cary. In March 2018, staff initiated the Trinity Road study with the consulting firm VHB to develop a Trinity Road alignment, which accommodates future transportation needs, serves all modes and users and fits the Eastern Cary Gateway Special Planning Area (SPA).
In April, Town staff and VHB conducted stakeholder meetings with various property owners and groups interested in the Trinity Road extension between Cary Towne Blvd. and E. Chatham Street. The goal of these meetings was to seek input on each stakeholder’s priorities, needs and goals for the corridor. Stakeholder groups included:
- Cary HS – Jerry Dotson (Cross Country Coach)
- Columbia Development – Abbitt Goodwin and Team
- Fit & Able (5K Organizer) – Alisa Wright Colopy and Travis Colopy
- HS Event Management (Cross Country) – Patrick Helland
- Kathy Klein and Bob Klein (5K Organizer)
- Marty Thompson and Travis Thompson (Property Owner)
- NCDOT Planning Division
- NCDOT Rail Division
- NCFC (North Carolina Football Club) – Steve Malik and Pete Sevandre
- NCFC Youth – Bob Harris (Director)
- NC State Cross Country – Chris Seaton (Coach)
- State Property Office – Joy Wayman
- Trinity Soccer Academy – Sean O’Connor (President)
Based on stakeholder feedback and the Town’s internal Steering Committee, four preliminary alternative alignments have been developed. Each draft alignment includes documentation on its impacts to the existing WakeMed soccer complex, cross-country course, existing parking and development potential on the remaining greenfield land that runs along the I-40 corridor.
Given the state is the primary land owner in this location, next steps in the study include meeting with the State Property Office to review the draft alignment options and understand their long-term vision for this land. Follow up stakeholder meetings are also planned. Current funding for the study does not include the design or construction of any street improvements.
Green Level Church Road Study Update
The Town initiated a study to develop an overall context- sensitive transportation vision for the Green Level Church Road corridor through the existing Historic District. Staff has met with primary stakeholders in the study area, including representatives of the Green Level Baptist Church and Mr. Mills, a generational landowner in the district. SEPI, the Town’s consultant on the study, is working on an updated traffic analysis to provide data on projected traffic volumes, future street capacity needs, turning movements and safe access. Next steps include a public meeting tentatively planned for later this summer. Study deliverables will include a context-sensitive typical section for the corridor that balances future transportation needs with the district’s unique, historic, rural character and charm. There is currently no funding designated for design and construction of the future street improvements.
McCrimmon Parkway Study
McCrimmon Parkway is a regional east/west thoroughfare extending from western Cary to Morrisville. The street, which was originally built in phases, still has a one-mile missing link between NC 55 and Louis Stephens Drive. Closing this gap will reduce travel time — particularly during peak hours—and improve regional connectivity.
In March 2018, staff initiated a feasibility study with the consulting firm AECOM to identify conceptual street design alternatives that address the railroad crossing, safety and topography, as well as provide a planning level vertical alignment.
Since the study’s kickoff, design criteria have been established and staff is currently reviewing and providing comments on the traffic analysis. AECOM is drafting conceptual alignments. Later this year, two public meetings will be held to present the preliminary concepts to stakeholders and the public. The overall project is anticipated to conclude in late 2018 and does not include funding for the design or construction of any street improvements.
Piney Plains Road Corridor Study
As the Town begins to experience an increase in redevelopment and infill projects along its mature corridors, transportation feasibility projects provide an opportunity to evaluate the existing transportation network and determine how effectively the transportation corridors will complement and support the long-term land use vision. The Piney Plains Road corridor, from SE Cary Parkway to Dillard Drive, transitions from an existing three-lane to five-lane street as it continues north. Originally developed with single-family homes on larger lots, the corridor is experiencing a change in intensity reflecting denser residential uses. Staff is finalizing a scope of work with a consultant, AECOM, to conduct a comprehensive corridor study in this location. Deliverables will include a recommended typical section for Piney Plains Road that reflects the changing land use in this location, explores access needs and incorporates all transportation modes potentially within the existing right-of-way. Currently there is no funding for transportation-related improvements within the corridor.
NCDOT US 64 Corridor Improvements (U-5301)
US 64 between US Highway 1 in Cary and Laura Duncan Road in Apex has continued to experience increased local and commuter traffic as a result of regional growth in the area and additional development along the corridor. As volumes continue to increase, so has the number of accidents with over 800 crashes recorded between 2012 and 2016, nearly double the state average for similar highways. In an effort to improve regional mobility, reduce accidents, alleviate existing and future congestion and improve local connectivity along the corridor, NCDOT is actively pursuing transportation improvement alternatives for this portion of US 64. Preliminary concepts include two interchange options each for both Laura Duncan Road and Lake Pine Drive intersections, as well as superstreet and expressway alternatives for the remaining US 64 corridor. These draft concepts were presented to the public at the project’s first public meeting on June 21. A second public meeting will be held near the end of the planning process to provide citizens an opportunity to review and comment on the preferred alternative. Following project design, right-of-way is expected to begin in 2020 with construction set to begin in 2022.
Cary “rolled out” May’s National Bike Month with an official proclamation at the May 3 Council meeting. Bike Month featured a series of classes, events and rides throughout the month to celebrate Cary’s commitment to cycling, its bike culture and to encourage bicycling as an alternative mode of transportation.
Mayor Weinbrecht and Mayor Pro Tem Bush joined citizens, staff and representatives from the East Coast Greenway Alliance on May 5 for a bike ride to the Fest in the West celebration. The ride featured views along the Town’s White Oak Creek Greenway trail, which has been designated as a section of the East Coast Greenway, a 3,000-mile national bike route from Maine to Florida.
Five Cary schools partnered with Cary and Safe Routes to Schools to celebrate Bike to School Day with our youngest Cary residents on May 9. This event included rides, safety courses, giveaways and games.
The weekend of May 12 focused on maintenance as staff and Cary’s REI store bike technicians spent the afternoon at Bond Park debuting the Town’s new bike repair station for riders who were out and about on Cary’s trails. With tune-ups complete, May 18 kicked off Bike to Work Day with a morning pit stop at the New Hope Church Trailhead on the American Tobacco Trail (ATT). Staff set up early to hand out drinks, maps and bike promotional items to the dedicated early morning riders and runners who were enjoying the ATT.
To close out the month’s festivities, staff and Town Council representatives attended the inaugural Staff and Officials Ride on June 1. The group rode from White Oak Park along the White Oak Creek Greenway to the site of the new White Oak Creek Trailhead on Green Level Church Road.
Morrisville Parkway Extension and NC 540 Interchange
We are making good progress constructing the final section of Morrisville Parkway, which will complete the connection between NC 55 and Green Level Church Road, as well as provide an interchange at NC 540.
Grading operations, as well as water line and storm drainage installation, are underway, and the project is approximately 20 percent complete. This summer, the contractor is expected to begin paving along NC 540 in advance of constructing the loops and ramps that will connect NC 540 to Morrisville Parkway.
This project is on schedule and planned to be opened by Christmas of 2019.
Installation of RRFB at American Tobacco Trail on O'Kelly Chapel Rd
Staff has received final approval from NCDOT to install the Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) devices at the American Tobacco Trail crossing at O’Kelly Chapel Road. Earlier this year, Town staff learned that the USDOT rescinded an interim approval notification that allowed transportation departments to implement and install RRFBs. However, shortly thereafter in early spring, a new interim approval notice was issued and RRFBs were permitted once again. In that time, staff has been working with NCDOT to receive approval from Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and has made the necessary changes to our design plans.
Currently we are working with a contractor to have concrete foundations installed for all four RRFB poles. This unique installation will have RRFB lights — not only at the crossing but in advance of each crossing — to give further warning to drivers of the presence of pedestrians and increase safety.
Staff anticipates the foundations to be installed in July with the poles erected immediately thereafter.
Connected Vehicles Project
As the first Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) project awarded funding from the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO), Town staff has been diligently working with our State and Federal partners. The goal is to develop a program that allows ITS projects to fit into the current processes of Federal Construction review that is geared toward traditional roadway construction projects.
This month, staff met with FHWA, NCDOT and CAMPO representatives to discuss programmatic concerns and process ideas to allow staff to move this project forward. Discussion topics included Connected Vehicle (CV) Design Plans, right of way certification requirements, CV product selection and many others. Participation by our partners was excellent, and we are excited to see this project moving forward. All partners are dedicated to Cary’s success.
Next steps for this project will include meeting with NCDOT to determine how design plans will be processed and beginning the RFQ process for product selection.
Green Level West Road Widening
The four newly-constructed lanes of Green Level West Road from Glenmore Road/Capistrane Drive to NC 540 were opened to traffic on April 17 ahead of the fall 2018 expected opening date. The project, which is a gateway to the Green Level Destination Center, included wide outside lanes for bicyclists and sidewalk on both sides of the street. Medians were built per our new standard detail, which includes sections of landscaping and brick work. We continue to monitor vegetation and landscaping establishment through the warranty period.
We are in the process of compiling and submitting the final documentation for NCDOT review. Their review and concurrence is critical for the Town to receive the $2.9 million in federal funding through the LAPP process.
Since the opening of the new road, we have received feedback from local residents concerning sight distance and safe access in and out of their neighborhood. We are working with HOA representatives to understand these concerns and discuss options with a small group of residents.
Cary Parkway and High House Road Intersection Improvements
Work on street improvements at the intersection of Cary Parkway and High House Road began April 16. Contractors working for the Town have been installing the new right turn lanes. Asphalt base and new curb and gutter have been installed on most approaches. A temporary traffic signal and new fiber optic cable have been completed to minimize signal communication interruptions. The installation of new fiber optic cable caused some service interruptions to Bond Park; however, we were able to serve most citizens with backup systems put in place by collaboration from multiple departments, including Parks, Recreation, & Cultural Resources; Information Technology; Public Works; Town Manager’s Office; and Transportation & Facilities. Temporary street lights have been installed and utility relocation is ongoing.
Construction on the outside lanes will continue throughout the summer before the contractor begins the new left turn lanes at all approaches except southbound Cary Parkway.
Morrisville Parkway at Carpenter Upchurch Road Intersection Improvements
Construction of street and traffic signal improvements began at the intersection on June 18. Contractors working on behalf of the Town installed traffic control and erosion control devices in preparation for street work. Cary staff met with CSX Railroad and Wake County Public Schools to coordinate lane closures, holiday and special event work restrictions. Intersection work continued in coordination with CSX Railroad. A second meeting with Wake County Schools will be held prior to traditional school calendar in August for Green Hope High School to coordinate traffic flow prior to school beginning and the traffic signal is planned for installation in winter 2019.
Carpenter Fire Station Road Grade Separation with CSX
Designs and permitting are complete, and staff is working with the consultant and CSX Railroad to finalize the construction agreement and real estate approvals. Staff has also completed interviews as part of the selection process for construction engineering; inspection consulting services and private utility companies have started relocation work in advance of construction. The project also includes aesthetic bridge treatments consistent with the Historic Carpenter Special Planning Area. Bidding is scheduled to occur summer 2018, pending CSX approvals, with construction beginning this fall. With a three-year construction duration, we anticipate opening the road to traffic in summer 2022.
As part of our efforts to keep Cary great, we are working on several sidewalk improvement projects around Cary. These projects are a result of Council’s ongoing commitment to increase mobility throughout our transportation system, as well as working with our citizens to identify, prioritize and implement projects that provide and complete important pedestrian connections.
For the first time, staff is working to deliver these sidewalk projects through a shared management strategy that promotes professional growth and internal staff relationships and shares workload. Design technicians are managing all aspects of the project with support and guidance from senior engineers. Highlights of several sidewalk projects are included below:
SW Cary Parkway Just South of High House Road
This sidewalk project was recently bid and construction is being coordinated with the ongoing intersection improvements project at High House Road and Cary Parkway. Construction includes installation of a pedestrian bridge over Crabtree Creek and is scheduled to be completed in summer 2019.
The following sidewalks were grouped into one construction package to achieve more competitive bids through greater economies of scale:
- N. Harrison Avenue from Kingswood Drive to W. Johnson Street
- Old Apex Road between Laura Duncan Road and SE Cary Parkway
- E. Chatham Street from E. Durham Road to Reedy Creek Road
- Edinburgh Drive from west of Gregson Drive to MacGregor Village Shopping Center
A successful bid opening was held on June 12, and we anticipate beginning construction in August. Utility coordination is ongoing and all construction is scheduled to be completed in summer 2019.
Walker Street from E. Chatham Street to Waldo Street
This project includes brick sidewalk along Walker Street between E. Chatham Street and Waldo Street, as well as signal upgrades at Walker Street and E. Chatham Street. Through interdepartmental collaboration, this project has grown to include additional infrastructure upgrades to storm drainage, water line improvements and sewer line rehabilitation. Storm drainage improvements along Walker Street support a larger effort to improve and upgrade downtown storm drainage and mitigate flooding potential. The sidewalk design is nearing completion, and we are currently working to coordinate utility conflicts and right of way needs. We anticipate bidding this project later this year and beginning construction in winter 2019.
Sidewalk Design Underway
Design efforts for the following sidewalk projects started earlier this year, and we are making good progress, including utility coordination and preliminary right of way acquisition plans. These projects are scheduled for construction activities to begin in summer 2019.
Ederlee Drive from Regency Parkway to Penny Road
The Ederlee Drive sidewalk project includes a street- side trail and provides a pedestrian connection to the Penny Road Elementary School. It then continues north to residential neighborhoods, Koka Booth Amphitheatre, Symphony Lake and Swift Creek Greenway. This project will fill a missing link in our Greenway Master Plan.
Tryon Road from Ashville Avenue to Ashville Avenue
The Tryon Road sidewalk project will complete the sidewalk gaps on the north side of Tryon Road, which serves pedestrians who walk to WakeMed Cary, local restaurants, retail locations and hotels. This project will include a traffic signal upgrade and pedestrian crossing enhancements at the intersection of Tryon Road and Crescent Green.
NW Maynard Road from Old Apex Road to Castalia
The NW Maynard Road sidewalk project will fill in a gap along one of our major thoroughfares and is being included as part of design of the Maynard Road Water Line Project. Combining both projects into one construction contract should help save construction costs as well as limit disruption to residents and the traveling public.
FY 2019 Wake Transit Work Plan
The proposed FY 2019 Wake Transit Work Plan was adopted by the governing boards of CAMPO and GoTriangle in June. The Town of Cary is the project sponsor for the following projects in FY 2019:
- Expansion of Wake Transit Marketing and Public Outreach related to GoCary services
- Expansion of the Downtown Multimodal Transit Facility Feasibility Study (detailed below) and funding for the next phase of this project, which includes Land Acquisition and Facility Design
- Expansion of holiday service hours to include New Year’s Day; the 4th of July will be added in FY 2020
- New Transit Plan Administration related to GoCary program coordination and analysis
- New Passenger Information Materials, including updated signage, maps and educational materials
- New Route and Associated Capital Improvements (e.g. sidewalks, bus stops and amenities) serving Weston Parkway, Park West Village and James Jackson Avenue
Downtown Multimodal Transit Facility Feasibility Study
After a collaborative procurement process that included representatives from multiple Town departments and regional transit partners, the evaluation committee for the Downtown Multimodal Transit Facility Feasibility Study has selected a consultant that embodies the approach and project understanding that the Town was seeking. The Town is in the final stages of refining the project scope and expects to execute a contract soon. This project is on schedule to kickoff the study this summer.
Bus Stop Inventory
Transit staff completed a full inventory of GoCary bus stops this spring. This inventory documents current conditions at each bus stop, including transit amenities (e.g. benches, shelters, trash cans, bike racks, lighting), signage, ADA compliance, tree canopies and landscaping, and sidewalk connections to nearby destinations. Furthermore, this database makes use of geospatial data that serves as a resource for GIS, Google Maps, TransLoc and internal transit operations systems. This inventory will guide transit staff as they embark on a bus stop improvement project that will bring many stops into ADA compliance and will enhance amenities at the system’s most heavily-used stop locations.
Western Wake Comprehensive Operational Analysis (COA)
The Town of Cary has partnered with the towns of Apex and Morrisville for the Western Wake Comprehensive Operational Analysis (COA). This project, a subtask of the larger Wake Transit Bus Plan, is intended to guide short- and mid-term GoCary service adjustments and expansions in this rapidly growing subregion of Wake County. Work on the COA has included a market analysis of the three towns, a service analysis of the GoCary system and public outreach. The consultant will use the results of these analyses to develop two service scenarios that present options for future GoCary service design. These scenarios will be presented to the public in early August and will then be refined into one final recommendation package for the towns’ consideration. The final recommendation will also be included in the late-August GoForward public outreach materials, which will show future service plans for all Wake County transit providers (GoCary, GoRaleigh and GoTriangle).