Given all the fretting about the run-off impact of Durham development and growth on water quality in Falls Lake -- the key source of drinking water for Raleigh -- it's ironic that the impetus of much of that recent growth may have come from Raleigh's boom in Brier Creek, itself just a few miles from the lake's edge.
Time was that Raleigh was Raleigh, Durham was Durham, and never the twain did meet. But the late 1990s saw the envisioning of massive development near the Wake/Durham border, clustered at the intersection of I-540 and US 70 near the RDU airport.
As the N&O noted earlier this decade, areas like North Raleigh, South Durham and Cary boomed first, thanks to the presence of existing infrastructure, from roads to utility services.
But as those areas began to be built-out, low land costs in the US 70 corridor drew attention as the new outer beltway for Raleigh came to fruition.
Certainly Brier Creek's endless supply of stores and shopping have drawn many Durhamites, with griping over leaked retail sales across the border becoming a common bogeyman in development and zoning matters.
But it's also spurred new development in once-sleepy eastern Durham County, from the Brightleaf at the Park development near US 70 and Miami Blvd., to proposed developments further south.
It's not a story that's played out to full fruition in this decade. But all signs for development point towards eastern Durham County -- a story that promises to shape development directions in the Bull City in the two decades to come.