Local News

I-540 Toll Proposal Airs at Public Meeting

Posted February 8, 2007

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— Members of the public got their first look Thursday evening at the toll road proposed for the Interstate 540 extension known as the Western Wake Parkway.

State officials say the only way to pay for the roadway from—I-40 to NC 55 in the south—is to charge drivers to use it. They say town leaders in the area asked them to look into charging a toll to put the project on the fast track.

Hundreds of people crowded into the cafeteria at Apex High School to check out new plans for the proposed toll road.

The 18-mile extension of 540 will cost $800 million. With construction costs rising, the state says charging a toll is likely the only way to get the project done. With a $2 charge for each car, they said, the road would be paid off in about 39 years.

“How about the other roads? They got built without tolls. Can't the state budget enough so they know what's going to happen?” Jim Maher asked.

The state just opened a stretch of I-540 up north from Capital Boulevard to U.S. Highway 64 last month. It's toll free.

"It's not fair to the people who live in western Wake that they get charged a toll and the rest of the county gets off scot-free," Apex resident Bob Gubar said.

John and Jola Hubisz say they are facing an even bigger toll than paying to drive—and whether or not the state makes it a toll highway. The plans displayed at the meeting have the road running straight through their waterfront property.

"They are going to kill all the fish, drain the pond and put an on ramp, right there over the pond in our front yard," Jola Hubisz said.

Officials say they will take all comments and complaints under consideration, but they admit that the wheels are already in motion to turn this road into a reality. If the toll road gets state approval, the road will be under construction in a year and open by 2011.

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  • turnpike420 Mar 5, 2007

    Not happy about the possibility of tolls on 540? Some local concerned citizens have just launched a website dedicated to fighting tolls on 540. NO TOLLS ON 540!! http://www.notollson540.org is the site. Information is just now getting filled in. Please visit and let your opinions be heard. Thank you.

  • slugolicious Feb 23, 2007

    I can't believe everyone's missing the obvious solution. We have a NC Education Lottery and it solved all our school issues. I'm sure a NC Transportation Lottery would do just as well. Powerball for RTP.

  • Frank Downtown Feb 21, 2007

    The should just make an I40 bypass South of Durham, Raleigh and into Benson and the section of an I40 bypass could be used as the Southern part of 540 just like I40 is part of the southern half of 440. It would also allow through traffic to bypass the congested RTP area altogether and east congestion. I could branch off of I40 in Durham just South of where 54 and Hope Valley Road cross I40 then go south, around Apex and Fuquay-Varina then merge back into 40 before it gets to Benson. The would kill two birds with one stone.


  • Frank Downtown Feb 16, 2007

    Once a toll road---always a toll road!

    They should find alternative means--tax on vehicles in the county where the roads are located???

    Or maybe on the days the legislature decides not to work they cna have a bake sale???

  • mizrob Feb 16, 2007

    I don't mind tolls.. but NOTat $2 per. It appears that I'd have to cross 3 plazas.. and at $2 per x 3 - twice a day at $12 bux daily? I don't think so, and based on plain math, I couldn't afford it. The income levels in this state compared to the northeast??? Most couldn't afford that and a lot of other people wont think so either.
    The Garden STate Parkway in NJ is a toll road.. and they have it at 35 cents per plaza... granted it was built years ago, so this is probably more maintenance tolls.
    I'd be ok with 50 cents easy and I think that if they were to make it 'reasonable' it would not stop people from using it (assuming you want to) but at $2 per plaza? You can bet people would not use it.

  • Here kitty kitty Feb 14, 2007

    I like the new 540...makes my commute so much quicker. But put tolls on it and I'll go back to the country roads again. I don't like it that much!

  • Nobody but Carolina Feb 12, 2007

    Well,, I believe it was also done for the possibility of making I 95 a toll as well, possibly even I 85.

  • HadMyFill Feb 9, 2007

    Thanks TBURK. From what I read about the law change is that they only changed it for that one particular stretch of road... and not a blanket change. The law still prohibits them from adding a toll to any other existing road.... for now. I feel for the people who will be affected by this. If they were to somehow repeal this law and make the rest of the completed sections of 540 a toll road as well... I would find an alternate route.

  • oneimi0106 Feb 9, 2007

    Coming from another state in the North where Toll Roads are already operating. They were also put there until the road could be paid for. Trust me when that time comes it will be decided that the toll will stay for repairs to the road. Once you have a toll road I am quite sure it will stay a toll road.

  • Nobody but Carolina Feb 9, 2007

    FYI: State Lawmakers changed the law about 4 to 6 months ago to allow Tolls to be placed on existing roads as well. With that they did say that tolls would be removed when the road is paid for, but keep in mind that about the time that might happen it would most likely be time for repairs and tolls would most likely stay in place.