NCDOT wants to convert part of Capital Boulevard from a side street into a freeway. That conversion is good news for commuters and potentially bad news for area landowners.

The $465 million project would greatly reduce travel times and traffic congestion, according to the agency. NCDOT commissioned a planning study in 2006. When complete, the new 65mph speed limit freeway will have six lanes, a concrete median, and two twelve-foot shoulders.

Construction is slated to begin in the spring of 2021.

Project Segments: What to Expect

About 50,000 cars a day take Capital Boulevard between Purnell and Harris roads in Wake Forest and Interstate 540 in Raleigh. That number might increase by as much as 50 percent by 2040. The $465 million price tag includes $137 million for property acquisition.

Land acquisition and construction will begin in Segment A.

  • Segment A runs from Louisburg Road to Perry Creek Road
  • Segment B extends from Perry Creek to the Falls of Neuse Road
  • Segment C runs from the Falls of Neuse to Purnell Road

How Does the Upgrade Affect Area Raleigh Landowners?

NCDOT has said that area businesses and homes will still have access to Route 1, even after it becomes a freeway. But the agency was quite vague on the specifics. And, the list of affected property owners is quite long.

For example:

  • The new freeway would have only four interchanges.
    • Commuters who use feeder routes listed must change their travel patterns. Homes and businesses along these routes would also have no freeway access:
      • Sharon Farms Avenue
      • Jacqueline Lane
      • Thornton Road
      • and Caveness Farms Avenue
  • Several large apartment complexes, would be effectively landlocked including: 
    • Overlooke at Simms Creek Apartments
    • River Haven Apartments
  • A number of businesses, such as the ones in Wake Forest Crossing between Durham Road and Stadium Drive, now front a highly-travelled road. A freeway would destroy that access. A number of these businesses depend heavily on foot traffic.
  • Freeways are much louder than side streets. The added noise significantly diminishes residential property values.

Some of these problems, but certainly not all of them, may be addressed in an updated project map which details side streets.

Your Legal Options

Once NCDOT gives notice of condemnation proceedings, it’s almost impossible to stop the process. The state generally takes the land. However, NCDOT’s financial offer is negotiable. 

Frequently, the state’s offer does not reflect the full fair market value of the land’s highest and best use. That’s especially true of vacant lots. This land obviously is much more valuable when, according to NCDOT’s own estimates, traffic will increase considerably in coming years.

Diminished Property Value

On a related note, an action for diminished property value might be appropriate. Generally, the measure of compensation is a simple before-and-after comparison of the fair market value. In this case, however, our Raleigh condemnation attorneys would probably partner with experts who testify about the effect of lost foot traffic and road access.

These actions could take several different forms. Immediate value claims consider the lost financial value, inherent value claims account for the “stigma” of being a remote business that’s hard to access, and repair-related claims address failed repairs, such as a freeway exit, which do not solve the problem.

Contact a Raleigh Eminent Domain Attorney

The Capital Boulevard conversion project could spell financial disaster for some area landowners. For a free consultation with an experienced Raleigh eminent domain attorney, contact Kirk, Kirk, Howell, Cutler & Thomas. After-hours visits are available.