Weeds go wild ahead of Raleigh redevelopment project

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Unsightly weeds in Raleigh.

As unsightly weeds started to take over abandoned lots along a busy downtown corridor, ABC11 went looking for answers and got results.

Crews came out Wednesday to mow and weed-eat stretches of Peace Street and West Street near the future construction site of the Peace St. bridge replacement.

Vacant businesses such as Peace Camera and Capital Quick Lube had started to look dilapidated with overgrowth.

The area is set to be redeveloped through a joint venture between Kane Realty and Williams Realty and Building Company.

Bonner Gaylord, Raleigh city councilman and managing director of property management for Kane, says the corner of Peace and West streets will be home to a multi-use high rise and grocery store.

Gaylord said they were unaware the weeds had become unsightly and sent out a crew to clear the property. He said people traveling through the area can expect to see more prep work ahead of demolition in the fall.

As for the parcels the NC Department of Transportation is responsible for, spokesperson Steve Abbott said clearing weeds is low priority as construction is set to begin in July.

"We think the priority for clearing's going to be a curve somewhere else in the county that maybe the grass is growing, it makes it a little tougher to see," he said. "A safety thing. Safety takes priority in mowing, totally, as opposed to aesthetics. And especially if it something's that's going to go away shortly."

Abbott said the bridge replacement project, which follows the replacement of the Wade Avenue bridge farther north on Capital Boulevard, will bring long-term ramp closures that drivers need to be ready for. However, he said the project, being done in partnership with the City of Raleigh, will be worth it.

"They're paying money to make the Peace Street bridge look even better," he said. "There's going to be artwork along it so when people come down and say, wow, this looks nice, and then when they get in the city they'll be even more impressed."

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