Two state legislators seek $500,000 for Avent Ferry Road project in Holly Springs

aspecht@newsobserver.comMay 29, 2014 

— Two state elected leaders are asking the General Assembly for money to fund a road project at the intersection of Avent Ferry Road and the N.C. 55 Bypass.

Sen. Tamara Barringer of Cary and Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam of Apex are asking their respective branches for $250,000.

The combined $500,000 would be just enough to pay for a $1.6 million plan that’s expected to improve traffic flow at what’s likely the busiest intersection in town. Holly Springs plans to pay $600,000, and the state Department of Transportation plans to pay $525,000.

Avent Ferry Road, which is maintained by the DOT, carries more vehicles each day than it was designed for because Wake County built three schools on the southwest side of the bypass in recent years.

Stam, who sent a letter to House speaker Thom Tillis requesting the funds, said he supports the project because it’s a high priority for town leaders and residents of Holly Springs.

“As a corollary anything that reduces congestion in that part of Holly Springs makes life easier for the residents of Apex and Fuquay-Varina who have to traverse that area,” he wrote in an email.

The improvement plan would reduce the number of drivers stuck at stop lights by prohibiting vehicles on Avent Ferry from driving straight across the bypass.

The intersection would be realigned so that drivers on Avent Ferry must turn right onto the bypass, make a U-turn at a cut-through and then turn right to get to the other side of the intersection.

Engineers also plan to add an extra right-turn lane on southbound N.C. 55 to lessen traffic back-ups that typically occur in the evenings as many drivers turn right onto Avent Ferry Road.

It’s unclear if the General Assembly will grant the project the money it requires.

Stam, the House speaker pro tempore, didn’t comment on the likelihood of receiving funding and Barringer couldn’t be reached for comment.

Holly Springs Mayor Dick Sears is cautiously optimistic.

“It’s a regional project,” he said. “I can’t see why we wouldn’t get it. But then again, it’s not in the bank until it’s in the bank.”

Specht: 919-460-2608; Twitter: @AndySpecht

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