Cary Parkway set to reopen after culvert fire

April 14, 2013 3:12:49 PM PDT
A busy stretch of road in Cary which was closed for weeks because of a teenage prank will finally fully open for drivers later this week.

Eastbound lanes opened Saturday. The westbound side is set to reopen by Wednesday.

The road has been closed from Two Creeks Road to Lake Pine Drive for three weeks, and residents are ready to have the road back to normal.

"Thank goodness, it has been a long couple of weeks with it being closed," said Cary resident Alana Gerdes.

Gerdes is one of just tens of thousands of drivers very happy to hear that Cary Parkway, near Kildaire Farms will open Monday.

"Having to circumvent all the way around both ways on 64 and Maynard has been kind of a headache," said Gerdes.

For Laura Menzel, the closure has been adding time to her drive to work.

"It's been a huge headache," said Menzel. "It takes me an extra 30 minutes to get to and from work."

Now, that headache will soon be over.

A fire forced the road to close on the night of March 21. It caused the road to collapse, and landed a teenager in trouble with the law. The fire started in a culvert under the road.

It took investigators only days to find out who was responsible, 17-year-old Tristan Zammit.

The Cary High School student confessed. A search warrant showed investigators believe Zammit was trying to burn his name into the side of the pipe, which was coated with flammable tar to prevent rust.

"It's too bad because I don't think it was intentional or that he's a bad kid," said Gerdes. "Just a bad choice."

That warrant then showed a fellow Cary High School student told police that Zammit sent a text showing what he had done.

The fire caused $480,000 in damage.  It is money investigators say the apologetic teen will have to help pay for.

Zammit will find out his fate in court April 25. He faces 60 days in jail and a hefty fine.

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