Town of Cary officials are asking residents for any information about Thursday evening's fire in a culvert below Cary Parkway in the Kildaire Farms area of town.
Officials said the fire was put out quickly, but the westbound lanes of Cary Parkway from Two Creeks Road to Lake Pine Drive are closed for about three weeks because the culvert under the road was significantly damaged by the flames. Repairs are estimated to cost $400,000.
A culvert is a pipe that allows water to flow under a roadway and is usually made of steel or concrete. This one was coated in tar as a rust preventative, and it was the flammable tar that caught fire.
Authorities have determined that the fire was manmade, however, it is unclear if it was accidental or malicious.
The closed section carries 30,000 drivers a day and many businesses rely on those motorists.
One manager is worried the detours will derail business.
"That's a lot time. I didn't know it was going to be that long of a time," said Tijuana Flats manager Evan Peck.
The restoration for a stretch of Cary Parkway is a concern for Peck. He recently opened the business, which is a spot people stop at on their drive home from work to grab a quick meal.
"Hopefully the traffic will still come towards us," said Peck. "We'll still get business. Hopefully our business doesn't go down and we'll just keep pushing on."
Anyone with information on the fire is encouraged to contact the Town of Cary Police Department at (919) 469-4012 or Cary Crime Stoppers at (919) 226-2746.