March 15, 2007

Town of Cary Moves Forward with Widening The Last Two-Lane section of the Maynard Loop

Project includes innovative stream restoration with long-term environmental and financial benefits

CARY, NC – As part of its commitment to providing high quality infrastructure and protecting the environment, the Town of Cary broke ground on one of the area’s most innovative projects – the Southwest Maynard Road Widening and Swift Creek Stream Restoration and Nitrogen Removal Best Management Practices Project. Suzanne Klimek, Director of Operations for the N.C. Ecosystem Enhancement Program (EEP), joined Cary’s Mayor Ernie McAlister and Assistant Town Manager Ben Shivar in kicking off the $11.7 million, 1.25-mile combined project on Wednesday, March 14 at a ceremony near the intersection of Pamlico Drive and Southwest Maynard Road . Once complete, the project will open the entire Maynard Loop to two lanes in both directions and provide significant upgrades to an unnamed tributary to the Swift Creek stream, funded in part by a unique award from the EEP.

Town contractors will perform the following work as part of the highway widening: install curb and gutter, sidewalks, and drainage structures, widen Maynard Road from West Chatham Street to Kilmayne Drive to provide for a five-lane section and widen Maynard Road from Kilmayne Drive to Kildaire Farm Road to provide a four-lane, median-divided section. Also, existing traffic signals will be upgraded and a new signal will installed at Kilmayne Drive .

At the same time as the widening project, nearly 2,000 feet of the stream will be restored including: replacement of the culverts to help reduce flooding, construction of a more stable stream channel, reestablishment of aquatics and terrestrial habitats, and improvement of wetlands to better intercept runoff flowing through stormwater channels.

While the state requires mitigation for stream impacts near highway projects, Cary went one step further and combined a variety of ecological and economical alternatives to create one of the area’s most innovative stream restoration projects. In 2005, Cary was awarded the state’s first N.C. Ecosystem Enhancement Program grant to be used for Nitrogen Removal Best Management Practice in the stream restoration. The $400,000 award will be used to reduce nitrogen levels that can negatively impact aquatic species.

"The Ecosystem Enhancement Program is proud to collaborate with the town of Cary on a project with clearly tangible benefits for the community," said Klimek. "Partnerships such as this one with communities across our state are allowing our initiative to help restore, enhance and protect natural resources while facilitating responsible economic growth."

“We’re pleased to begin such a valuable project that is expected to provide positive environmental and financial benefits for years to come,” said Mayor McAlister. “This project continues to illustrate our commitment to providing innovative solutions that lead to exemplary services for all of our citizens.”

With the start of the stream restoration, Cary will also begin accumulating mitigation credits for the first time ever from the State to help offset future roadway projects. Monies that would have been spent on fees for mitigation impacts will now be credited towards offsetting stream impacts that may occur in association with future projects. Cary is the first municipality in eastern and central North Carolina to implement such a financial alternative.

Approved by the Cary Town Council in 1999, the highway project was awarded to Rea Constructing of Raleigh in January 2007, and Rea subcontracted with Fluvial Solutions of Raleigh to complete the stream restoration aspect of the project.

The project is scheduled to begin on Monday, March 19 and will be by the summer of 2008. During this time, motorists can expect periodic lane closings and traffic shifts.

For complete project details, visit Southwest Maynard Project at www.townofcary.org.

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PRIMARY CONTACTS:

Tom Ellis, Senior Engineer, (919) 469-4333

Mike Babuin, Environmental Specialist, (919) 462-3931

April Little, Deputy Public Information Officer, (919) 481-5091