Road construction in Mallard Creek around the new stretch of Interstate 485 – a $139.5 million project – is in full swing and will change the traffic patterns for motorists in the area.
So far, construction is on schedule.
“It appears we’ll be finished on our contract time, which is December 2014,” said Gary Eudy, an assistant resident engineer with the N.C. Department of Transportation and a project manager for the I-485 construction.
But he’s not making promises. “As always, bad weather or bad luck could play into that,” he said.
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While it will take at least two more years to complete the 5.7-mile stretch of highway that will complete the I-485 loop, the surrounding roads in Mallard Creek are on their own timetables. Odell School, Ridge and Mallard Creek roads are all being moved.
Several changes, mostly involving those roads, will be happening in the new year:
• In early January, the existing Odell School Road will close. A new Odell School Road is being built, and traffic will temporarily be detoured at the intersection of Ridge Road onto what will be called the new Mallard Creek Road. A temporary traffic signal will go up at that intersection, Eudy said.
• The new Ridge Road will open to traffic in mid-January, Eudy said. This means the new Ridge Road bridge will be open, and it also means part of the old Ridge Road (near the old Mallard Creek Road) and part of Beard Road will be closed. As a result, the stoplights at Mallard Creek Road and Ridge Road will be removed. The new Ridge Road will intersect with Beard Road at a right angle instead of the current, slanted intersection.
• Prosperity Church Road is being relocated, too. Loganville Drive, currently off of Johnston-Oehler Road, will be extended and turn into what is now Prosperity Church Road. The new Prosperity Church Road will run perpendicular just northwest of the Shoppes at Highland Creek. Eudy said there are plans to make the new Loganville Drive – which will run through the Prosperity Village development area – pedestrian friendly, with sidewalks, bicycle lanes and landscaping.
Planners didn’t forget about nature: An amphibian reserve has been installed on Ridge Road near Beard Road. An underground pipe that will reach from there to the old Mallard Creek Road will soon be placed for amphibians to travel to the reserve safely.
“The tough thing,” Eudy said, “is to get them to read to go across the pipe.”