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DOT looks to hit accelerator on NC 540 construction

Posted February 14

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— When will N.C. Highway 540 be finished?

It's a million-dollar question for many commuters in the Triangle, especially those who live south of Raleigh.

North Carolina Department of Transportation officials say they have a plan to complete the loop around Raleigh faster.

Many business owners and residents say it can't happen soon enough.

DOT communications officer Carly Olexik says the highway was designed to be completed in three segments, but there's now a way to "accelerate" all of that.

"Instead of having three separate segments, we are combining two big legs of the project. By completing those earlier, the entire project could be completed four years earlier," Olexik said.

The new plan combines the segment between the N.C. Highway 55 Bypass and U.S. Highway 401 with the section between U.S. 401 and I-40.

Construction could begin in 2020 or 2021, four years earlier than the original plan.

Joe Milazzo, the executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance, which advocates for major transportation projects in the area, says completing N.C. 540 is the group's biggest priority. He says he likes the new timeline.

"Yesterday would be great, but as soon as they can get the project moving would be wonderful," he said.

Milazzo says a finished N.C. 540 will provide an important connection to I-40 and the future Interstate 42, which will generally follow the U.S. Highway 70 corridor and connect Garner, Clayton, Smithfield, Goldsboro, Kinston, New Bern and Havelock with the Port of Morehead City.

"It's important for commerce, for travel alternatives. It's important for transit and also to relieve the local streets," he said.

DOT says it's going to look for ways to speed up the project even more.

The DOT's new plan also means a big change for the last segment of N.C. 540, which would connect the loop from I-40 to U.S. Highway 64/264 (Interstate 495) in Knightdale.

That segment originally was not on a schedule for completion, but the new plan now has construction beginning in 2027.

6 Comments

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  • Paige Hall Feb 15, 9:33 a.m.
    user avatar

    the faster they go the behinder they will get as these pavement mixture crumble an fall all to pieces where the pavement mixture used to would last 15 to 18 years now a days they are crumbling an falling all to pieces in like 5- to 7 years an this is by the intentionaly designed so as to countiualy keep the states contractors happy by the states politican's an to pay back to the states politican's for campaign contributions that help them to get elected to office can you say quid-pro-qui does anyone remember the blownup concrete joints that cost the states taxpayers 22.0 million dollars extra that should not have never happen in the first place on I-40-15/501 AN HOW ABOUT THE I-795 PROJECT WHERE IT TO COST THE TAXPAYERS ANOTHER 22.0 MILLION DOLLARS JUST BECAUSE STATE INSPECTION PERSONNEL WERE NOT BEING ALLOWED TO DO THEIR JOBS DUTYS OF ENFORCEMENT OF THE STATES OWN SPECIFICATIONS BECAUSE OF THE CONTRACTOR DICTATED DEREGUALTION AN PRIVITIZATION THANK YOU

  • Paige Hall Feb 15, 9:19 a.m.
    user avatar

    Everytime that ncdot speeds with it's contracting of state highway construction projects quality of the construction work on these types of projects suffers with respect to the amounts of non-specification work that is being allowed to take place an contractors are just getting richer an richer off of the backs of the states taxpayers an with respect to the quality of the asphalt pavement just continues to get sorrier an sorrier as the constraction process speed up as that the quality of the liquid asphalt that is being utlized in theses current asphalt pavement paving mixtures an the aggregate sizes are getting smaller an smaller an less able to support the weights of the heavy truck traffice in high volume traffice areas an due to the sorrier quality of the liquid asphalt that these suposely supper pave mixtures are being produced out of there are problems with the adhesion factor between the aggregates an the liquid asphalt that are causing them to deteriote an being to crumble an

  • Michael Thurman Feb 14, 6:22 p.m.
    user avatar

    Great... the section I need most won't be done for another 10 years. by that time I won't care or won't be living where I am now...

  • Mike McAteer Feb 14, 5:55 p.m.
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    Put ANYONE to work on this road. Let's get this thing finished already!

  • Teddy Fowler Feb 14, 4:27 p.m.
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    View quoted thread


    Put Americans to work on this road....

  • Jim Frei Feb 14, 4:13 p.m.
    user avatar

    Instead of deporting all the illegals, put them to work on this road.