Construction on Capital Blvd. near Peace St. moving into high gear

A North Carolina Department of Transportation image of how the project should look when it is complete.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — There’s a traffic alert in Raleigh this weekend.

Some changes are coming Sunday because of work on the Capital Boulevard bridges project.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation and the city are working together on the nearly $37 million project, with the goal of giving the northern entrance to downtown Raleigh a major facelift.

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The road closures and traffic shifts revolve around the Peace Street Bridge. The bridge is 62-years-old and Steve Abbott with DOT says it’s definitely time for an upgrade.

The northern entrance to downtown Raleigh is not the most attractive, officials say, and all the construction on Capital is part of a plan to dress up the city’s gateway to downtown.

The project includes replacing the Peace Street Bridge over Capital and building a new ramp on Wade Avenue over Capital Blvd.

“We’re gonna have greenways in there,” Abbott said. “There’s gonna be some decoration on the bridge that the city is paying extra money for. So when you’re coming down Capital it’s going to be an entrance to the city. You’re gonna go, ‘Wow! That’s pretty cool’.”

In the meantime, drivers need to be aware of some traffic changes. Dorscht Street near Peace Street shuts down Sunday and won’t re-open for three weeks.

Signs will be up guiding drivers to a short detour. Drivers will also see a change in the traffic pattern on Peace Street next Sunday.

“We shifted last fall on Peace Street itself into a single lane pattern for most of it because we’re putting a big culvert underneath the road over there and we’ve finished off the first phase of it and now we’re gonna move people from the lanes that they’re on to the lanes that were closed and then we’re gonna do the work on the lanes they have been using,” said Abbott.

“So, it’s more or less the same traffic pattern, just they’ll be in a different location.”

The one lane each way traffic pattern on Peace Street should wrap up early this summer.

“More and more traffic is coming down and this is going to help,” Abbott said. “I’m sure the city wants to build Capital going north. The city has bought other properties that may not have been as nice as they wanted, so, they’re looking for development along Capital going up towards I-440 and this will be a good thing to add to it.”

The Wade Avenue Bridge should be open to traffic late this spring or early summer. The Peace Street Bridge won’t be done until 2019.

Also, the North Carolina Department of Transportation hasn’t set a date yet, but all of Peace Street will also need to be shut down overnight or, even possibly for a weekend, while crews work on the bridge.

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