DOT yet again facing road repair delays

road (AP)

June 4, 2010 8:36:41 PM PDT
A popular Raleigh road riddled with pot holes is yet again being delayed for a full face lift.Turns out a busy stretch of Glenwood Avenue doesn't need to be re-surfaced; it needs to be completely re-built.

It's just the latest bump in the road in Raleigh's Five Points neighborhood.

First, neighbors complained the state took too long to begin repairs, then crews scraped three miles of Glenwood all at once and huge potholes followed as rain hit the still under construction roadway.

"A lot of our customers stood outside and watched the cars go by," restaurant owner Frank Winslow said. "A few hub caps and one car actually broke a rim."

The Department of Transportation has been very busy resurfacing streets, with help from $78 million in federal stimulus money for Wake and Durham county roads. But road work on Glenwood has hit a rough patch.

A June resurfacing deadline has been pushed back to late August, to rebuild.

Street crews found sub-surface concrete disintegrating after old top asphalt was scraped off. Workers also had to strip out old trolley rail tracks.

"It's old concrete," DOT Engineer Wally Bowman said. "You can see round river rock, cobbles. We don't use that any more. It doesn't hold up as good. But that's what they used 50-60 years ago."

In the meantime, the DOT stresses other projects are going well -- a big improvement over the area's busiest bottleneck is so far ahead of schedule and widening of I-40 from two to four lanes between Wade Avenue and US-1 could be done in a year from now.

"It's a lot of different routes that the folks are driving on," Bowman said. "It seems like everywhere they turn, there's another road we're resurfacing. But again, it's short-term. Think of the benefit we're going to have. When you start removing 10 inches of concrete and replacing it, it's no longer a resurfacing project. So it will take us a little bit longer."

But some drivers have said it's painful and they're counting the days, even the hours until Glenwood is done.

"I think it's pretty slow," Raleigh resident Anna T. Wheeless said. "They worked on it yesterday, but during the lunch hour and lunch hour around here is like a nightmare."

The DOT says rebuilding the road could add another $750,000 to $1 million to the Glenwood project.

"If they can get that done before kids go back to school, that would be great, because if not, that can be a mess, too," Wheeless said.

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