Drivers on Ballentine Street, Green Oaks Parkway, West Holly Springs Road and New Hill Road soon will no longer turn left onto N.C. 55 or cross over it.
Instead, they will turn right and use a U-turn lane with a traffic light to reach the other side of the bypass or to head in the opposite direction.
The changes are expected to begin on or about Jan. 23. Initially, Town officials were told to expect them to occur Dec. 20.
For up to four weeks after changes begin, motorists on N.C. 55 who want to turn left onto any of those four side streets will have to drive beyond it and shift into a signalized U-turn lane. Then they can turn left and proceed to the side street. That maneuver is temporary. After about four weeks, left turns onto the side streets from N.C. 55 will be permitted.
However, traffic on those four side streets will continue turning right and making U-turns to get to the other side of N.C. 55 or to go in the other direction.
The N.C. Department of Transportation has approved all of these changes to N.C. 55 to prepare for additional traffic, including what’s expected from Holly Springs Towne Center and from extension of the Triangle Expressway toll road.
The Target-anchored shopping center is scheduled to open next March. The first phase will include Marshalls, Petco, Michaels, Pier 1 Imports, Ulta, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Children’s Place, Kay Jewelers, Charming Charlie, Massage Envy, and Mattress Firm.
Restaurants and other food establishments will include Olive Garden Restaurant, Buffalo Wild Wings, Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt, Which Wich Superior Sandwiches, Zaxby’s, and Starbucks. A movie theater and bowling alley are in phase II.
Changes at the New Hill Road / West Holly Springs Road and Green Oaks Parkway / Ballentine Street intersections were expected to occur Dec. 20. But the state Department of Transportation decided to postpone the switch until more U-turn lanes were ready rather than phase them in over several weeks.
The shopping center developer is paying for N.C. 55 changes in the vicinity of the Ballentine Street / Green Oaks Parkway and West Holly Springs Road / New Hill Road intersections. The so-called “superstreet” design for N.C. 55 dates to at least 2008, when plans for the shopping center were approved.
Use of the relatively new superstreet design is growing in the Triangle and elsewhere as a way to keep traffic flowing on major roads where congestion is increasing substantially.
“We understand that it will take time for motorists to grow accustomed to these changes,” said Stephanie Sudano, the Town’s director of Engineering. “We are working with DOT and with the shopping center developer to make the switch go as smoothly as possible and minimize inconvenience to motorists.”
The Town’s N.C. 55 Superstreets page includes weekly construction updates. Learn more about superstreets and the design for N.C. 55 through a brochure, maps, and answers to frequently asked questions.
Residents can e-mail email@example.com with questions or concerns.