Drivers on Ballentine Street, Green Oaks Parkway, West Holly Springs Road and New Hill Road will no longer turn left onto N.C. 55 or cross over it beginning Thursday, Dec. 20.
Instead, they will turn right and use a U-turn lane with a traffic light to reach the other side of the bypass or to head in the opposite direction.
Motorists on N.C. 55 who want to turn left onto any of those four side streets will drive beyond it, shift into the signalized U-turn lane, and turn left there instead.
The N.C. Department of Transportation has approved these changes to N.C. 55 to prepare for traffic from Holly Springs Towne Center shopping complex and from extension of the Triangle Expressway toll road.
The Target-anchored shopping center is scheduled to open next March. The first phase will include Marshalls, Petco, Michaels, Pier 1 Imports, Ulta, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Children’s Place, Kay Jewelers, Charming Charlie, Massage Envy and Mattress Firm. Restaurants and other food establishments will include Olive Garden Restaurant, Buffalo Wild Wings, Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt, Which Wich Superior Sandwiches, Zaxby’s, and Starbucks. A movie theater and bowling alley are in phase II.
The shopping center developer is paying for N.C. 55 changes in the vicinity of the Ballentine Street / Green Oaks Parkway and West Holly Springs Road / New Hill Road intersections. The so-called “superstreet” design for N.C. 55 dates to at least 2008, when plans for the shopping center were approved.
Use of the relatively new superstreet design is growing in the Triangle and elsewhere as a way to keep traffic flowing on major roads where congestion is increasing substantially.
“We understand that it will take time for motorists to grow accustomed to these changes,” said Stephanie Sudano, the Town’s director of Engineering. “We are working with DOT and with the shopping center developer to make the switch go as smoothly as possible and minimize inconvenience to motorists.”
Initially, drivers will travel a longer distance along N.C. 55 before making a U-turn because only U-turns at the following locations will be open:
• The U-turn about a fifth of a mile north of West Holly Springs Road
• The U-turn about a sixth of a mile south of Ballentine Street
U-turns for side street traffic will get shorter and easier as construction crews finish installing additional traffic signals over the next four or five weeks, weather permitting.
When the work is done, drivers on N.C. 55 can resume left turns onto Ballentine Street / Green Oaks Parkway and West Holly Springs Road / New Hill Road. However, drivers on each of those side streets will continue turning right and using the signalized U-turn lanes instead of crossing over the intersection or turning left at it.
The Town’s N.C. 55 Superstreets page includes weekly construction updates. Learn more about superstreets and the design for N.C. 55 through a brochure, maps, and answers to frequently asked questions.
Residents can e-mail email@example.com with questions or concerns.