Wake Forest citizens want Rogers Road detour revised

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WTVD) -- A road closure coming to Wake Forest this spring will shut down a major artery to schools and neighborhoods for five months.

The Department of Transportation's plan for a detour has hundreds of people in the town concerned. Business owners, parents, and even teachers are signing a petition, calling the only planned detour route "dangerous."

Despite the town's efforts to warn drivers in Wake Forest, drivers will be shut off from Rogers Road come March. Susan Calloway launched the petition, and she says many are still in the dark.

"[Drivers] really aren't aware that this is gonna shut down for five months in 2016," Calloway said.

The DOT is paying to replace the bridge, and four others, and widen the road. Calloway said these are welcome changes that shouldn't come at the cost of student safety and neighboring businesses' bottom line.

"The congestion in the morning now is dangerous," Calloway explained. "With the bridge closure, it's going to be impossible."

When crews close Rogers Road, traffic to the Heritage Neighborhood, middle schools, and elementary schools will all be diverted up Heritage Lake Road, across NC-98, and back down the two-lane South Main Street.

Calloway said those who are "in the know" are weary of what's to come. She is urging citizens to sign her petition urging local and state leaders to fund a second detour.

"There's an alternative," Calloway explained. "And I'm not sure the best way to go, but all I did is what I could do. And there's plenty of supporters but we just want to keep it safe."

Her idea is to expand Foundation Drive, a dead-end road that runs beside Heritage High School, which would bring traffic around to Heritage Branch Road and back on Rogers Road.

It's a much shorter route, but it's a project an engineering firm quoted at $3 million. That's money Calloway says she can't get her town to pay.

"So that's why we're stuck. So we want the support to be able to have someone come up with a plan."

Nearly 700 people have signed Calloway's petition on Change.org. Many of them are saying the bridge replacement projects already underway have been a hassle.

Town spokesperson Bill Crabtree says they understand drivers' frustrations, but the most they can do at this point is encourage drivers to alter their plans.

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