Local News

Durham Freeway spur to be closed for Triangle Parkway construction

Posted August 23, 2011

— Part of the Durham Freeway will be closed permanently in early September and re-routed to join with the new Triangle Parkway.

The section of N.C. Highway 147 South known as the spur, which goes south of Interstate 40 and ends at T.W. Alexander Drive, will close on Sept. 6.

All drivers will need to exit N.C. 147 South at Exit 5A to Interstate 40 East or Exit 5B to Interstate 40 West.

Motorists traveling south on N.C. 147 needing to access T.W. Alexander Drive should use the following detour:

  • N.C. 147 to I-40 West to N.C. Highway 55 (Exit 278) to N.C. Highway 54 to T.W. Alexander Drive

Motorists traveling on T.W. Alexander Drive needing to access N.C. 147 North should use the following detour:

  • T.W. Alexander Drive to N.C. 54 to N.C. 55 to I-40 East to N.C. 147

Motorists traveling on I-40 needing to access T.W. Alexander Drive should use the following detour:

  • I-40 to N.C. 55 (Exit 278) to N.C. 54 to T.W. Alexander Drive

Once construction is complete in December, the Durham Freeway will connect to the Triangle Parkway, which will run to N.C. Highway 540 in Morrisville. It's part of the larger Triangle Expressway, a toll road that will run 18.8 miles from Durham to Holly Springs.

North Carolina Department of Transportation and Turnpike Authority staff will hold a public meeting Aug. 30 to talk with Research Triangle Park workers about the construction. The meeting will take place 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the North Carolina Biotechnological Center, 15 T.W. Alexander Drive.


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  • RaleighMan Aug 29, 2011

    asjohans...agreed. The entire 540 route should have tolls. It shouldn't discriminate on where one lives in the county.

  • wralgoloco Aug 24, 2011

    Regarding the Inspector's previous comment:

    As "regular citizens" we should all be grateful that this project is a toll and not another multimillion dollar project that is being imposed upon the "regular citizens" of NC in the form of a state wide tax.

    You may want to check into the facts first at the following link: http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/2993656/:

    "As part of its 2008-09 state budget, the House on Wednesday approved a phase-out of the $172 million transfer from the Highway Trust Fund to the General Fund. The North Carolina Turnpike Authority would be given $25 million a year, for 39 years, to build the rest of 540, known as the Triangle Expressway."

    The NCTA will not only get our tax dollars ($975 million over 39 years) but they will also get the toll fees and transponder rent from the "regular citizens". The cost of the entire Triangle Expressway was an estimated $1 billion.....makes sense, right?

  • Wenchmaid Aug 23, 2011

    I hate, hate, hate the 55/I40 interchange! I much prefer using the spur to get around the traffic lights at that interchange.

  • sjb2k1 Aug 23, 2011

    so i guess now when traffic gets backed up on 40 W in the afternoon it's Davis Drive exit or bust until I make it to the 55 exit. i am still stewing here.

  • The Fox Aug 23, 2011

    [Also, keep in mind that NC 540 is not the only project underway in the state by the NCTA.] including the Garden Parkway in Gaston County, and the Mid-Currituck Bridge project.

  • JayJay Aug 23, 2011

    This screws my commute too.

  • concreteman Aug 23, 2011

    Also, keep in mind that NC 540 is not the only project underway in the state by the NCTA. They are working on about a half a dozen projects. The Western Wake/Triangle Parkway accounts for about $500 million of about $1.2 billion of projects.

  • bricemsayssam Aug 23, 2011

    Here's the thing about closing this spur. It's FORCING, for the sake of revenue, drivers to detour off of a perfectly good road, constructed at taxpayer expense in the past in favor of being put on a new road, constructed also at taxpayer expense (but for MILLIONS more dollars), and which does NOTHING AT ALL for the population that is most likely to be using that spur.

    EVENTUALLY (and that's a LONG WAY OFF, regardless of what you're told) the new, toll road (and that's another story entirely) will be a value to drivers heading in and out of RTP from Holly Springs, Fuquay Varina, and to some extent Apex. BUT TODAY, IT'S GOT NOTHING GOING FOR IT, AND TO CLOSE THAT SPUR IS SIMPLY A TRAVESTY!

  • sjb2k1 Aug 23, 2011

    that really ruins my commute. awesome.

  • concreteman Aug 23, 2011

    @asjohans: Existing Interstate Highway cannot currently be turned into toll roads because 70% of the cost to build them (I think that is the current correct figure) comes from the Fed Highway Trust Fund. (That is the Fed tax you pay everytime you buy fuel)

    As for funding the NCTA, $50 million was advanced as "seed money" by the state. The remaining funding was in a form of a loan from the Fed TIFIA Loan process. Both amounts will be paid back after revenue bonds are issued. These were going to be the first funding source in '08, but, the credit market froze up making that all but impossible at the time. The revenue bond approach is how the NJ Turnpike Auth, et al. fund their road improvement and expansions.