540/Triangle Expressway Gets Green Light
This summer, the NC Turnpike Authority will begin construction on the 540/Triangle Expressway turnpike. This project will extend 540 from Cary at NC 55 to the Holly Springs/Apex area at the NC 55 bypass as a new turnpike freeway. In addition, the project will also construct the new Triangle Parkway turnpike within Research Triangle Park. In early July 2009 the Federal government approved a multi-year, $380+ million loan for the project, and on July 13 and July 14 the Turnpike Authority sold more than $620m of toll revenue and state appropriation bonds. This means the financing for the project is now complete and the Turnpike Authority will sign construction contracts for this $1 billion freeway project this summer. Construction on the section in Research Triangle Park will commence almost immediately.
It would be hard to overstate the importance of this milestone for our region. This project – which consists of the extension of 540 by more than 12 miles to the southwest past Apex to the Holly Springs bypass, as well as the creation of a new Triangle Parkway (Durham Freeway extension to 540 in Research Triangle Park) – represents a billion dollar investment in our region’s future by the NC Turnpike Authority. By 2012, we will see 16 miles of new turnpike freeway in southern Durham and western Wake counties, with the RTP section opening earlier. The Triangle Expressway turnpike will provide travelers with a mobility option that they may not have otherwise seen for decades, if ever, and will help preserve our area’s economic vitality and quality of life.
I-40 Cary/Raleigh widening contract signed! Construction begins summer 2009.
On July 1, 2009, the NC Department of Transportation signed the I-40 Cary/Raleigh widening contract. This project will widen a 6 mile stretch of I-40 between Cary and Raleigh from 4 to 6 lanes. The project will also eliminate the “inner” and “outer” beltline designations that have vexed residents and visitors alike. Construction begins in summer 2009 and will be completed by June 2011.
In less than two years, this project has gone from an unfunded future project request to construction. The speed at which this occurred is a testament to the focused efforts of NCDOT, the Capital Area MPO, and the RTA which catalyzed the accelerated six-lane widening concept in 2007. And it is welcome news for thousands of commuters on the Triangle’s “Main Street” and most critical roadway.
Noise barriers will be installed much to the appreciation of the Drees Homes Brandywine neighborhood that borders I-40 at Trinity Road. The standard concrete barriers will be1,200 feet long, vary in height from nine feet to 23 feet according to NCDOT will be installed.