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The original item was published from 8/7/2014 2:46:12 PM to 9/3/2014 12:05:02 AM.

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Posted on: August 7, 2014

[ARCHIVED] Council approves funding for intersection design, planning

The Town’s top priority transportation project is moving forward. At its Aug. 5 meeting, the Holly Springs Town Council approved funding for surveying, civil design and environmental planning for the improvements at the N.C. 55 and Avent Ferry Road intersection.

The project will improve the intersection's most popular traffic movements, including southbound vehicles on N.C. 55 turning right onto Avent Ferry Road and vehicles on Avent Ferry Road turning left and right onto N.C. 55. Eight different light cycles at the intersection will be reduced to two, giving both cycles more green-light time.

"By having more green (light) time, you're getting to flush out those lanes," said Kendra Parrish, senior engineer with the Town Engineering Department.

A free-flow right turn lane from southbound N.C. 55 onto Avent Ferry Road will help alleviate afternoon congestion. Lanes allowing vehicles to complete U-turns also will be created.

Parrish said the Town is pushing for a bicycle and pedestrian crossing. The Town also has been working with Rex Hospital to coordinate the improvements with the future development of the hospital at that intersection. A public information meeting will be scheduled to discuss the results of planning and design work.

The state is paying for nearly two-thirds of the $1.6 million project. The Town intends to borrow the rest. Design and planning for the project will begin immediately. Construction is expected to begin in June and be complete December 2015.

The intersection improvements are one of three projects that will reduce congestion at the N.C. 55 and Avent Ferry Road intersection. The Town also is working on connecting Ralph Stevens Road behind Walmart with Piney Grove Wilbon Road, a project expected to take one-third of the traffic off Avent Ferry Road. The Town also is in the process of obtaining grant funding to widen Avent Ferry Road. Parrish said the Town recently secured grant money to design the road widening from N.C. 55 to Piney Grove Wilbon Road. During the fall grant cycle, the Town will apply for funds to construct that widening, as well as funds to design the widening on Avent Ferrry Road from Piney Grove Wilbon to Cass Holt.

"It takes time because we're trying to get grant money," Parrish said.

In addition to asking staff about the N.C. 55 and Avent Ferry Road intersection, Councilwoman Cheri Lee inquired about plans for a traffic light near the SouthPark shopping center at the intersection.

Parrish said a signal at the entrance near the Goodwill store will allow traffic to safely turn left and right out of the shopping center. At the center's Village Walk entrance, traffic on Avent Ferry Road will be able to enter the shopping center by turning left or right, and drivers exiting the shopping center will be able to turn right only. The state is paying for that project out of spot safety funding.

Also, further north on N.C. 55, Parish said the Town and state are working with the developer of Holly Springs Towne Center to synchronize lights at intersections near the shopping center.

K-9 Diesel honored

The council and Town Police Department recognized K-9 Diesel, who retired from active duty July 10, and Diesel's handler, Officer Jimmy Price. Diesel earned many accolades during his eight-year career. He will spend his retirement at the home of Officer Price and his family.

"Eight years," said John Herring, Police Department chief. "For dogs, it's a lot of time. In dog years, his service to the Town of Holly Springs would be the equivalent of me serving for 56 years."

Chris Poston, K-9 unit sergeant, said the Town appreciates Diesel's service.

"He has the best nose on the unit," he said. "Those who know him love him."

Other meeting business

The council accepted a Governor's Highway Safety Program grant and committed local funding for additional traffic safety officers. The Town will spend the funds, awarded by the North Carolina Governor's Highway Safety Program, to hire two full-time officers and purchase associated equipment and training.

The council approved a rezoning request for about 39 acres off Piney Grove Wilbon Road, formerly the Brayton manufactured home park, to allow for single-family detached dwellings.

Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce Executive Director LeeAnn Plumer updated the council on the chamber's business plan.

The council recognized the Holly Springs Parks and Recreation 15U All-Star baseball team for winning the Statewide Athletics Committee (SWAC) State Championship. First- and second-place finishers in the N.C. State Hershey Track and Field Meet were recognized at the meeting. Brooke Doherty placed first in the age 9-10 Girls Standing Long Jump. Richard Jones placed second in the age 9-10 Boys 200-Meter Dash. Jamison Fuller placed first in the age 11-12 Boys 200-Meter Dash and second in the age 11-12 Boys Standing Long Jump and 100-Meter Dash events.

The council reappointed Kari McCloud and Winston Shade and appointed Daniel Price to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. Their terms expire June 30, 2017. The council also appointed Elizabeth Stone to the committee to fill the place of a member who resigned. Her term expires June 30, 2016.

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