Local News

End Of Road Months Away For Junked Cars Along Interstate 40/540

Posted July 9, 2003

— An unsightly problem is taking over a heavily traveled Triangle intersection. Cars and more are piling up in the Interstate 540 median near Interstate 40.

It is a roadside junk yard -- an unconventional "rest" stop of sorts for junked cars. Some commuters, like Kim Crocker, have had enough.

"I mean it looks like a junkyard," Driver Kim Crocker said. "It's not a junkyard, it's a main thoroughfare."

The Department of Transportation calls the area the quadrant. Any car that breaks down, is abandoned, or is blocking the I-40 widening project is towed there. The idea is for owners to come get their cars, but that is not happening. Many vehicles have been there for months.

The roadside junkyard has also become a crime scene. Almost every car has been broken into.

In a new twist, officials looking for stolen vehicles are heading for the quadrant.

"Just looking for stolen vehicles. That way we can do the recovery and contact the owner and hopefully the vehicle will get back to its rightful owner," said Matt McKee of the Durham County Sheriff's Office.

The DOT said it is better to put all the cars in one place, instead of leaving them scattered in the construction zone. The eyesore will end when the construction ends. The clunkers will be there at least until October.

In response to complaints about piles of construction supplies near the abandoned car zone, the DOT said the area will be cleared by October.

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