The Estes Drive Connectivity Project, which involves closing portions of westbound Estes Drive, is not likely to be completed until the summer of 2023.
Estes Drive currently has eastbound-only traffic from Somerset Drive to Caswell Road. Westbound traffic is being redirected to Franklin Street and Weaver Dairy Road.
The Town began work on the project in March and closed parts of Estes Drive to westbound traffic in April.
The Estes Drive Connectivity Project is a multi-million dollar project aimed at increasing biker and pedestrian safety. This project includes the addition of raised and protected bike lanes, a sidewalk on the south side of Estes Drive, a 10-foot multi-use path on the north side, high visibility crosswalks and turn lanes at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
The construction of the Estes Drive Connectivity Project has been inconvenient to nearby residents, said Tab Combs, a research associate in the Department of City and Regional Planning at UNC.
However, she said the end result of the project is the most important thing.
“I think in the end, if you think about the decades of inconvenience that people who get around by foot and bike and bus in this town have faced, this is small potatoes,” Combs said.
John Rees, the president of the Bicycle Alliance of Chapel Hill and a member of the Chapel Hill Planning Commission, said the connectivity project is a fundamentally different approach to cyclist safety than other Town projects.
"It’s a lot safer and a lot more likely that parents of children and families will use facilities like that,” Rees said.