Hillsborough St. project underway

May 20, 2009 10:33:20 AM PDT
The long wait for improvements to make a major street more pedestrian friendly is over.City leaders gathered Wednesday afternoon for a ceremonial groundbreaking to begin construction on Hillsborough St.

When construction is complete, the traffic outside School Kids Music on Hillsborough St. near the Pullen Road intersection will follow a circular pattern as part of one of two roundabouts.

Ric Culross, a School Kids employee, says he isn't so sure about the project and the cone zone it brings. He says when the barrels went up last week, sales went down.

"I don't know that there are that many businesses on the street that can take 18 months of work here," Culross said.

That will be the challenge for many during the renovation. Hillsborough St. is both a thoroughfare in and out of downtown Raleigh and it's NC State's front door.

Over the years, some feel Hillsborough has gone down the wrong road.

"It has been a dirty street," Culross says. " It has been a rough street too."

Also, it's congested. The $9.9 million project aims to change that. Crews are at work turning several block of the street into a two-lane street.

There will be a raised median, more parking and utility poles will go underground. Concrete will be replaced with brick and there will be less vehicle traffic and more pedestrian friendly space.

Zac Chamber, who works at Jimmy John's on Hillsborough St., says tolerate the construction and look forward to the finished product.

"More people will be using Wade Avenue and Western instead of Hillsborough so hopefully more foot traffic in front of us and in the store," says Chambers.


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