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Bills filed to block possible highway through Garner

Posted March 3, 2011

— Lawmakers have filed companion bills to prevent state transportation officials from building an extension of the Triangle Expressway through Garner.

The North Carolina Turnpike Authority is selecting a path to complete N.C. Highway 540 in southeastern Wake County. A final decision isn't expected until late 2013.

The authority in November recommended that the so-called "red route" not be used because of the adverse affect it would have on 13 neighborhoods, a church and the town’s primary industrial recruitment area.

Federal transportation officials said, however, that the route must remain under consideration because an endangered species of mussels had been discovered in a creek along the original planned expansion area.

Sens. Richard Stevens and Dan Blue and Reps. Rosa Gill, Darren Jackson and Deborah Ross, whose districts include Garner, introduced legislation this week that would prohibit the red route from being used.

Senate Bill 165 and House Bill 225 stipulate that the Triangle Expressway’s southeast extension “shall not be located north of an existing protected corridor established by the Department of Transportation circa 1995, except in the area of Interstate 40 East.”

Garner pursued the legislation only after other avenues for getting the red route officially eliminated were closed, Town Manager Hardin Watkins said.

"The longer the route is studied, the greater the negative impact on investment and job creation in Garner,” Watkins said in a statement.

The southeast extension of N.C. 540 will extend the Triangle Expressway – currently under construction in southwest Wake County – and complete the loop highway around Raleigh. Construction could begin as early as 2018.

10 Comments

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  • jmclawson82 Mar 4, 12:04 p.m.

    It doesnt matter which route they take when peoples property is at stake someone always get the short end of the stick. The other route would have the same result. Get over it. They will do it one way or the other. People will always be upset.

  • soyousay Mar 4, 11:04 a.m.

    weell fred..idling through Clayton 10 years longer than necessary

    most people don't want a toll road..fried clams or not

  • soyousay Mar 4, 11:03 a.m.

    Its going to be a toll road....why are eople so anxious for this...and as for knightdale....that is NOT a toll road and yes indeed development followed. Greenville SC tried the same thing

  • romex Mar 3, 7:36 p.m.

    well i hope the people that still want the read rout get a rd put in your front yard if you want to get to rtp faster the pack your stuff and move to rtp

  • jhilfiker2001 Mar 3, 5:45 p.m.

    I live in Knightdale, and the whole point of this road is to be an express route around Raleigh/RTP, so going the fastest route is what makes the most sense. 540 has significantly increased development and jobs here in Knightdale, so what is everyone complaining about?

  • silverflash Mar 3, 5:40 p.m.

    who cares about a mussel?? People's homes and livelihoods are at stake here. So what would be saved first? A human life or a bunch of mussels? I fear the mussels would win. What a load of carp.

  • sammyg Mar 3, 5:11 p.m.

    No toll road in Garner...go somewhere else!

  • freddie cadetti 72 Mar 3, 4:57 p.m.

    fatchance...same thing happened which caused the 10 year delay of the US 70 Bypass around Clayton. Saving mussels, costing millions in delayed construction costs and environmental destruction of the ozone layer (as the whaco's would label it) of vehicles idling through Clayton 10 years longer than necessary.

  • ew2152 Mar 3, 4:42 p.m.

    "Sens. Richard Stevens and Dan Blue and Reps. Rosa Gill, Darren Jackson and Deborah Ross, whose districts include Garner, introduced legislation this week that would prohibit the red route from being used."

    Has anyone checked to see how much real estate interest they have in keeping the old route that they helped define?

  • fatchanceimwrong Mar 3, 4:22 p.m.

    An endangered species of mussels in a creek takes precedence over 13 neighborhoods, a church and the town’s primary industrial recruitment area.

    That's incredible. Relocate the dang mussels instead of residents of 13 neighborhoods and a church. Better yet, fry up the mussels and let's have a mussel roast.