Cary asks for public comments on road extension project to improve downtown

The Maplewood Access Road Extension project looks to increase mobility to downtown Cary

Downtown Cary July 10, 2023. The proposed road aims to make mobility easier in the area.

Cary will have its first public meeting about the Maplewood Access Road Extension project that aims to improve the approach to the downtown area and the train station.

The public information meeting on the project will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 12, at Cary Village Hall. Community members also can leave comments online at the project website.

The Maplewood Access Road Extension is a project that aims to improve mobility in downtown Cary. The new road would be an extension of Industrial Drive, running from Cary Algonquin Road to High Road, parallel with Route 14 and south of the railroad tracks.

This Wednesday will be the first public meeting for the project. The second meeting is expected to be held in the winter, either late this year or in early 2024, said Erick Morimoto, village administrator.

The project is in phase one of three which consists of research and design planning.

The second phase will prepare contractors and land purchases and the third phase will be construction.

An idea of how much the project will cost will be estimated after phase one is complete, Morimoto said.

Currently, a traffic analysis, drainage study and an environmental survey has been conducted. The village now is collecting ideas and public feedback on the project. Residents are encouraged to voice ideas on what they would like to see, including bike lanes and sidewalks.

The extended road also will bring more accessibility to the long-vacant former Maplewood Elementary School.

The Maplewood property has had three terminated agreements with different contractors on redeveloping the property. Most recently, a plan to develop rental units fell through last year.

It is ultimately up to property owners and Cary School District 26 on what the property will be, but the road extension should accommodate whatever will be built there, Morimoto said.

This project is separate from the Central Cary TIF District proposal, Morimoto said. If the TIF is passed, the project will fall within the TIF district.

The next public meeting on the TIF district will be at 6 p.m. July 18.