Triangle Freeway Opens
Posted January 21, 1997
RALEIGH — After five years of construction, a portion of Interstate 540 opened Tuesday. The stretch of the Northern Wake Expressway connects Interstate 40 and U.S. Highway 70 and runs just north of the RDU International Airport.
The only section that opened was the I-40 interchange and the U.S. 70 interchange. Other interchanges, including one off Aviation Parkway are still closed until spring.
N.C. State Trooper W.B. Vaughn said the new stretch of road would reduce traffic and the chances for accidents on a congested and winding freeway.
"It's a two lane road with curves," he said. "A lot of traffic travels through there so this is going to alleviate a lot of that traffic and take away a lot of those accidents we may have investigated."
N.C. Department of Transportation Engineer Jennifer Brandenburg said more work was underway in the area to keep traffic manageable and safe.
"You plan for future expansion and you can't always just build more roads," she said. "We have to widen existing facilities like we widened the Beltline."