Raleigh approves $56.1 million to widen 1 mile on Six Forks Road

The Raleigh City Council convened on Tuesday to unanimously endorse the widening of Six Forks Road, spanning the section from Rowan Street to Millbrook Road. This proposal outlines a significant transformation of the 1-mile segment of Six Forks Road, expanding it from its existing four-lane configuration to a broader six-lane thoroughfare, segmented by a median. The median itself will accommodate 8-foot-wide pathways designated for pedestrian and bicycle traffic. The estimated cost of this endeavor is projected at $56.1 million, earmarked within the city’s budget.

Expressing the underlying intent of this initiative, Kenneth Ritchie, Raleigh’s Mobility Strategy and Infrastructure Manager, emphasized its focus on fostering a safe and accessible multimodal corridor. Originally conceived in 2013, the initial blueprint envisioned a six-lane configuration spanning from Millbrook to Lynn roads, encompassing approximately 1.7 miles. However, as noted by Mayor Pro Tem Jonathan Melton, the realization of this plan has been fraught with delays, leaving promises unfulfilled.

The budget allocated for the project in 2017 amounted to $31.7 million. Nonetheless, the escalation of construction material and labor costs over subsequent years has necessitated a reassessment of the financial projections. Consequently, Tuesday’s decision not only signaled the city’s commitment to advancing the project but also provided the green light for the acquisition of properties along Six Forks Road, a step crucial for its expansion. The prolonged uncertainties surrounding the project have left property owners along the road in a state of limbo, awaiting clarity regarding the fate of their land.

Among these affected residents is Allen Oakley, whose property lies within the path slated for acquisition. Despite the disruption posed by the impending project, Oakley expressed a sense of relief, acknowledging that the decision has provided closure, enabling affected individuals to proceed with their plans. The longstanding efforts of city leaders to address safety concerns and alleviate traffic congestion around North Hills through the enhancement of Six Forks Road underscore the significance of this undertaking.

Looking ahead, the city anticipates commencing construction in the spring of 2026, with an estimated duration of two years for completion. As the project moves forward, stakeholders will undoubtedly monitor its progress closely, anticipating the realization of its intended benefits for the community.