Raleigh Six Forks Road project hits expensive roadblock, delays

14 April 2022

— The rising costs of inflation are getting in the way of some Raleigh road projects designed to improve safety and reduce congestion.

The largest of those projects is the widening of Six Forks Road north of the North Hills shopping area.

It was originally a $31.3 million project – but in the last few months, the price climbed by $22 million.

It’s not the only road construction hitting a costly roadblock. Right now, the city is planning for the cost all upcoming road projects to go up by 25%. The cost increase is pushing back timelines for completion. Statewide, the NC Department of Transportation is looking at an $8 billion gap as costs keep going up.

  • The Six Forks Road project has been delayed by a year.
  • Construction on Marsh Creek Road and Trawick Road is now slated to finish in fall 2027 instead of summer 2025.
  • Bike and pedestrian improvements to Lumley Road are also delayed more than 2 years.

The city blames soaring construction costs and rising real estate values.

“These cost escalations have been a big surprise and have really thrown off the whole schedule and the budget,” says Patrick Buffkin, on Raleigh’s city council.

The NC DOT is also struggling with cost increases from supply chains, labor shortages and rising fuel and property costs.

“We’ve seen 30 to 40% cost increases just in property acquisition,” says Joey Hopkins, the NC DOT deputy chief engineer of planning. “We’ve got to make some adjustments and push those projects out from a scheduling standpoint in some cases, and some others will actually lose funding.”

Meanwhile, local residents like Allen Oakley, whose property is in the path of the project to wide Six Forks Road, have to just wait — and cope.

“It’s just a lot of traffic, and a lot of people that drive way over the 35 mile per hour speed limit,” says Oakley.

The delays slowing down the project are putting the future of his household on hold.

“It’ll be four years since the money was approved for the project — and the project’s almost 10 years old,” he says. “We’re just tired of waiting and not knowing what’s going to happen.”

In about a month, the state will release its latest 10-year-plan, showing the public which projects are impacted by the funding gap.

Right now, Raleigh is look at ways to fill its funding gap – including seeking $12 million in federal funding for the Six Forks project.

This post was originally published on this site

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