Town of Cary
North Carolina

Staff Report

Cary Parkway and High House Road Intersection Improvements Construction Bid Award


Department:Transportation and FacilitiesSponsors:
Category:Bid Award

SpeakerAmir Nezarati, Transportation & Facilities


Executive Summary: The award of the Cary Parkway and High House Road Intersection Improvements Project is a major milestone of a 10 year project which has advanced through detailed analysis, design, and public outreach. Cary’s growth, including residential and commercial development, has resulted in increased traffic volumes and congestion at this intersection. The project design is the result of extensive public input with the goals to reduce congestion while maintaining and enhancing the aesthetic features of this signature intersection. 


Recommendation: That Council award the construction of the Cary Parkway and High House Road Intersection Improvements Project to Fred Smith Company for $2,727,000 and adopt the attached Resolution documenting this award. The recommendation of award by Council represents a preliminary determination and no legally binding acceptance of the bid or offer occurs until the Town has executed a written agreement. The contract award is subject to the contractor providing all bonds, insurance, and other required documents and executing a contract in a form agreeable to the Town. The contract award is also subject to NCDOT concurrence. Staff further recommends that Council authorize the Town Manager to enter into a supplemental grant agreement with NCDOT accepting an additional $550,000 in grant funding for the project and appropriate an additional $440,089 of transportation development fee fund balance from the general capital reserve fund to address grant match requirements.


Background:               When the intersection of Cary Parkway and High House Road was originally built in the early 1990’s, High House Road was a rural two-lane road and Cary Parkway terminated just north of the intersection. Much of the area around the intersection was undeveloped and Cary’s population was around 44,000.  Since then, Cary has attracted Fortune 500 companies, high quality developments including Stone Creek Village and Preston, and community amenities that put us on the map as the place “where better living begins.”  Today our population is over 160,000 and more people commute in to Cary for work than out of Cary.  With this growth, both High House Road and Cary Parkway developed into important thoroughfares providing commuter and local mobility resulting in increased traffic volumes. This project will improve our transportation network and support the important relationship it shares with development and redevelopment to ensure adequate access to the locations that people desire to go.  Award of this project supports the Imagine Cary Community Plan by providing transportation improvements in a context sensitive way, improving connections, and making transit investments.




Discussion: In 2008, Council decided it was important to investigate improvements to this intersection. Multiple solutions were analyzed including roundabouts, grade-separated roundabouts, and various configurations of quadrant intersections.  These possible solutions were presented to the public for input on multiple occasions.






As part of the public outreach efforts we learned that citizens and business owners preferred a traditional intersection layout.  Therefore, the roadway improvements include traditional widening to support dedicated right turn lanes on all approaches and dual left turn lanes on all approaches except for southbound Cary Parkway. 




The clock tower, decorative brick walls and columns, meandering sidewalk, and enhanced landscaping make Cary Parkway and High House Road a signature intersection in Cary. 


While the roadway improvements are expected to reduce congestion, additional goals for the project are to maintain and enhance the aesthetic features of the area.  While some existing landscaping will be removed to build the improvements, it will be replaced with new plantings.  Other aesthetic features include decorative traffic signals similar to downtown, new meandering sidewalk, upgraded street and pedestrian lighting, decorative crosswalks, distinctive pavement markings through the center of the intersection, and a new bus shelter unique to this location.


This project was originally advertised for construction in August 2017.  After review of those bid results with NCDOT, Town Council approved the recommendation to reject the one bid received at that time.


In preparation for re-advertisement, changes were made to the project specifications, and the construction cost estimate was updated. As a result, we received three bids at the November 22, 2017 bid opening.  Fred Smith Company is the lowest responsible, responsive bidder with a bid of $2,727,000. The engineer’s estimate for the project was $2,769,629. 


Bid Tabulation Summary:



Fiscal Impact:



NCDOT will maintain the improvements when fully completed, with the exception of the sidewalk and bus shelter; the Town will provide maintenance of those items. 



A total of $3,920,000 has been appropriated to the ST1231 Cary Parkway and High House Road intersection improvements project to date.  These appropriations include $2,976,000 of federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) grant funding.


In the early 1990’s the Federal government passed legislation reinforcing the link between transportation and air quality planning.  As part of these efforts the CMAQ Program was created, which supports surface transportation projects that contribute air quality improvements and provide congestion relief.  Due to the congestion improvements provided by the ST1231 project, Cary has leveraged this grant funding source to support this project.


Cary Parkway and High House Road Intersection Improvements project (ST 1231) encumbrances/expenditures to date total $1,090,721 leaving an available balance of $2,829,279 to address the bid award.  Staff recently reviewed cost estimates associated with this project and it was determined that an additional $1,190,089 is needed for project completion.  Staff approached the Capital Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) regarding the Town’s ability to receive additional grant assistance to address the increased funding need.  CAMPO approved an additional $550,000 in grant funding for the project with the understanding that the Town would provide the remaining $640,089.


Staff requests that an additional $440,089 of transportation development fee fund balance within the general capital reserve fund be appropriated to address the grant match associated with this grant appropriation.  These funds will be combined with $200,000 currently appropriated to the project to fully meet required Town funding.  If the grant award and matching fund appropriation are approved, the total project budget will be $5,110,089.  $4,910.089. (Please note the change was made on Wednesday, January 10, 2018).


Next Steps: The signed resolution and supporting documents will be submitted to NCDOT for their review and concurrence with the bid award.  After concurrence is received, contracts will be executed between Cary and Fred Smith Company.  Construction is anticipated to commence in spring 2018.  Staff will continue to coordinate with CAMPO to finalize the additional funding request and NCDOT to execute a supplemental agreement.