Capital Boulevard Corridor Study Implementation
The Capital Boulevard Corridor Study outlines recommendations for transforming the most travelled gateway into Downtown Raleigh into a showcase for multimodal transportation and green infrastructure. The final report focuses on capital projects, in recognition that significant changes to the physical infrastructure of the corridor, not just new land use policies, are necessary to achieve meaningful change. It is also a vision plan, in that these project ideas, while tested for feasibility, will require future design and engineering studies to nail down the details.
Capital Blvd. Enhancements
The NCDOT is replacing two bridges near downtown Raleigh – one on Capital Boulevard over Peace Street and another on Wade Avenue over Capital Boulevard. Both bridges can adequately support traffic, but are nearing the end of their design lives and need to be replaced.
The bridge replacement project is a catalyst for other major improvements to the Capital Blvd. corridor - the most traveled gateway into downtown Raleigh. In an effort to ensure that future development is reflective of our goals, city leaders in 2012 adopted the Capital Boulevard Corridor Study, an outline of recommendations for transforming the gateway. The study provides specific strategies for revitalizing, redeveloping, and renewing the Capital Blvd. corridor from downtown north to the I-440 interchange.
In alignment with the study and the Downtown Plan, the city will be making improvements within the corridor while the NCDOT bridge replacement project is underway. This includes the replacement of aging water and sewer lines, streetscape improvements, the construction of a new park, and the restoration of an existing stream that runs through the corridor. The city will also be increasing the size of the main interceptor serving downtown, which will help to prevent sewer overflows and is designed to support additional growth in the area.
In an effort to minimize the impacts to residents and businesses, the city’s improvements will be done concurrently with the NCDOT project. This will reduce the amount of time needed for street and/or lane closures, and significantly reduce the overall cost of improvements.
Water and Sewer Line Replacement
The Public Utilities Department assessed the city’s water and sewer lines in the areas of Upper Pigeon House Branch, Glenwood South, Five Points, Peace Street and Capital Blvd. Many of the water and sewer lines in this area are nearing the end of their service life and need to be scheduled for replacement. The Capital Blvd. bridge replacement project makes this an excellent time to replace the collector sewer lines for Peace St., Harrington St., and Johnson St. The water and sewer lines currently located under the pavement on Capital Blvd. will be replaced outside the pavement where possible to eliminate future maintenance challenges. While the size of the new waterline will remain the same, the new sanitary sewer interceptor will increase to 36 inches.
Johnson and Harrington streets will be extended to intersect with Peace Street near the Capital Boulevard overpass. This will extend the footprint of downtown Raleigh connecting Glenwood South and the central business district. Other transportation improvements will include the addition of street trees and mass arm traffic signals (as used on Glenwood South). Added bike lanes and wider sidewalks on Peace Street will provide a safer place for pedestrians and bicyclists. Enhancements to Capital Blvd. include a landscaped median to replace the existing “Jersey barrier” and the addition of six-foot wide sidewalks. A new greenway will extend from West Street under Wade Avenue to the off-ramp from Capital Boulevard to Wade Avenue.
Devereux Meadows Park
The city owns a flood prone piece of property, bounded by Peace Street, Capital Boulevard, N West Street and Dortch Street, that’s been used to house city staff and city vehicles in recent years. When approaching Downtown Raleigh from the north, on Capital Boulevard, this property is located on the right, just before going over the Peace Street overpass. Given the areas vulnerability to flooding, the city intends to convert this property into a passive park, as recommended in the Capital Boulevard Corridor Study.
The term passive park refers to an un-programmed park where few facilities/amenities are provided, in this case to limit the risk of flood damage to park infrastructure. The Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Department will oversee a contract to develop the Devereux Meadows Park that will include the restoration of the Pigeon House Branch stream and construction of the Pigeon House Branch Greenway Trail.