Regional plan draft makes recommendations for northern Wake, Franklin County.
By David Leone
WAKE FOREST — Major road improvements for areas around Wake Forest, Youngsville, Bunn and elsewhere in Franklin County are recommended on a new long-range transportation draft plan presented to town commissioners Tuesday.
The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) has been working for more than a year on a Northeast Area study to improve traffic conditions. Local governments use organizations like CAMPO for regional initiatives.
CAMPO representative Scott Lane, a Wake Forest resident, showed several maps and plan recommendations, including:
•Road widening or other streetscape improvements on N.C. 56 between Franklinton and Louisburg; on N.C. 39 between Louisburg and U.S. 64; and N.C. 98 East of Wake Forest to Bunn.
•Four-laning U.S. 401 to Louisburg; N.C. 96 through Youngsville; and N.C. 98 from Wake Forest to U.S. 401. There are several other four-lane recommendations as well, not immediately clear on the map presented.
•Extending Capital Area Transit express bus (commuter) service to Rolesville, Youngsville, Franklinton and Bunn.
•Rework the U.S. 401 and N.C. 98 crossing to prevent congestion by the inevitable commercial development that occurs at major intersections.
•Add turn lanes to the Burlington Mills and Ligon Mill roads intersection to limit accidents. Thirty-five wrecks were reported at the intersection between 2008 and 2012, the plan states.
•Turn the N.C. 98 and N.C. 96 intersection into a roundabout or add a traffic signal.
•Realign John Winstead Road where it intersects with N.C. 98 and Pearces Road or add a roundabout.
•Realign the intersection of Rolesville Road and Mitchell Mill Road to create two separate T intersections.
•Add roundabouts to Main street in Bunn at N.C. 98, Bunn Elementary School Road and Railroad Street.
•In Youngsville, add pedestrian crossings on N.C. 96 and a roundabout at U.S. 1-A.
The study also addresses pedestrian needs and other desired improvements. The draft study is online at neareastudy.com.
•Reasonable rate: Commissioners approved Finance Director Aileen Staples’ recommendation to finance a $2.5 million revenue bond through BB&T Governmental Finance for a 10-year term at 2.24 percent.The monies will be used to upgrade the J.B. Cole electric substation to handle increased growth and pay for the North Main Street lighting project. Commissioners also Tuesday approved paying low bidder Peak Substation of Birmingham, Ala., $194,300 for some of the substation work.
•Annexed: Several annexations were approved, including a 131-acre property on the 5600 block of Copper Beach Lane for a development under review; five lots of the Wake Forest Crossings Shopping Center on Capital Boulevard; and 3.6 acres at 2604 Teltec Plaza.
•Praiseworthy: Wake Forest Parks and Recreation Director Ruben Wall praised the young participants of the department’s Statewide Athletic Committee All-Star basketball teams which traveled to competitions across the state, many who attended the meeting at town hall.
“The 18 and under boys were our state champions this year. Congratulations on a job well done,” he said.
Town Manager Mark Williams added that the town received several e-mails from the tournament hosts crediting the Wake Forest teams for their level of sportsmanship.
•Tech talk: With the success of the town’s fiber optics task force at understanding the issues surrounding high-speed Internet capabilities, Mayor Vivian Jones thinks there should be a permanent technology advisory board similar to the greenways and senior center boards.
“There’s so many things coming at us from so many angles these days,” she noted.
Commissioners seemed amenable to the idea. If approved at a later date, the first board would be appointed in December.
•Job well done: Commissioners also agreed to reimburse Eagle Scout candidate Yousef Abdel-Rahman for the stream bank repairs he made by installing riparian grass seed, as well as native container plants to help stabilize the banks of Spring Branch stream in Miller Park. The costs not covered by grants is under $100.
•Kudos: Mayor Vivian Jones had high praise for the actions of Wake Forest Police officers who assisted the FBI in investigating a missing Heritage man who turned out to have been kidnapped and ransomed. The criminals threatened to kill the man if police were involved and didn’t learn of law enforcement actions until the FBI broke down the door of their Atlanta, Ga. hideout. “I could not have been prouder of our police department. They did an excellent job,” said Jones.
•Endorsed: After meeting in closed session, commissioners voted to endorse the talks between the N.C. Municipal Power Agency and Duke Energy. Duke is planning to buy out the power agency’s share of Carolina power plants. Wake Forest is a power agency town. One potential benefit would be lowered rates for in-town residents.