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'Red route' highway hits legislative red light

Posted March 17, 2011

— State lawmakers have overwhelmingly voted to block the state Department of Transportation from considering a controversial highway route through Garner.

After the Senate voted unanimously last week to pull the so-called "red route" off the table for the southeast extension of N.C. Highway 540, the House voted 115-1 on the measure Thursday. The legislation now goes to Gov. Beverly Perdue to be signed into law.

The North Carolina Turnpike Authority recommended in November that the 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.

Still, the DOT must continue to study the option, officials said, because the Army Corps of Engineers requires that at least two proposed routes be studied before it will issue an environmental permit to allow highway construction to begin.

Although the DOT has pledged to Garner officials that the highway wouldn't be built if federal highway officials select the red route for it, the town lobbied for a state law forbidding any consideration of the route. They said the threat of a highway coming through the middle of town was scaring off business and preventing people from buying and selling homes near the route.

DOT officials have said the legislation effectively prevents them from completing the N.C. 540 loop around Wake County.

The southeast portion of N.C. 540 would extend the Triangle Expressway toll road – currently under construction in southwest Wake County – and complete the loop highway. Construction could begin as early as 2018.

28 Comments

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  • stephkenner Mar 17, 5:38 p.m.

    I'm glad to hear this. There are people that I go to church with that would have been affected by this new road. It would have gone right through the middle of someone's living room. I've only lived in Garner for a couple of years but I love it. I'd hate to see it messed up by the 540 loop. I lived in Harnett Co. before.

  • sammyg Mar 17, 5:14 p.m.

    Yeah! No road through the middle of Garner!! Yipee! Don't mess it up Gov...

  • tobywilliamson58 Mar 17, 4:51 p.m.

    WRAL= Worst Reporting And Liberal

  • tobywilliamson58 Mar 17, 4:49 p.m.

    too bad!

  • snick1147 Mar 17, 4:48 p.m.

    Since my tax dollars have already paid for the northern loop, why not make that a toll road to pay for the southern loop?

  • The Deadhead Mar 17, 4:34 p.m.

    lilbear917--why wonder?

    Let' shine the glaring lights at Dem House Rep Pricey Harrison (Gilford Co).

  • Frizz Mar 17, 4:33 p.m.

    I also heard that "Clayton" stands for Cary Like Area Yankees are Taking Over Now.

  • lilbear917 Mar 17, 4:22 p.m.

    Wonder who the lone dissenter was. Bet you dollars to doughnuts, it was someone from Johnston County.

  • redclouds Mar 17, 4:12 p.m.

    I'm gonna paint an "01" on my dodge and jump that thar crik! Then I am gonna put the kettle over the fire and have me some Mussle stew!

  • Garnerwolf1 Mar 17, 4:07 p.m.

    Btw folks, there was a route set aside for this very purpose. 20 years ago! It's been protected from development ever since. Put the tollway there, and that takes care of your traffic argument. We've already got 40, 440, and 540, not sure folks from Garner would use this much anyway. It will likely primarily be used by those in eastern and western Wake. And tell me again why only the southern half is actually a tollway but the northern half is not?

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