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Proposed project to widen I-440 could shrink Meredith College campus

Posted August 8

— A huge new road project along Interstate 440 will fix a bottleneck between Cary and Raleigh.

The change would be a huge relief to drivers, but a headache for Meredith College as construction could take away valuable parts of the campus.

Department of Transportation officials are in the planning phases of a project to widen a portion of I-440 from Wade Avenue in Raleigh to Walnut Street in Cary.

The project would include upgrades to interchanges and bridges as well as improvements to make traffic run smoothly in the area.

“We have a crash problem out there. The crashes are about three times the statewide average on similar routes, urban interstates,” said NCDOT division engineer Joey Hopkins.

Not everybody is excited about the path the proposed improvements would take, however.

Meredith College President Jo Allen said the construction would take away a chunk of their campus footprint that could be used for future expansion.

“The way this plan is looking, it will affect our residential living with the apartments on the front western part of our campus and our commuter parking, which is important,” Allen said.

A large crowed turned out Tuesday night for a DOT meeting about the project. DOT officials said comments from the meeting will be used to lessen the impact of the project on property owners.

Serious construction on the project is not expected to begin until early 2019.

4 Comments

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  • Marvin Sanderford Aug 9, 1:22 p.m.
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    As the saying goes... "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few". Sorry but I am not concerned about a few hundred/thousand students campus being stymied 6-8 months out of the year (and it's not like the land in question is being used currently) as opposed to the tens of thousands of people stymied everyday in traffic backups. Think of the pollution not to mention the accidents and overall effect it has on people, the environment and property. As I mentioned, The needs of the many......

  • Patrick Gentry Aug 9, 10:49 a.m.
    user avatar

    You can't donroad work in that area without winding up effecting some college. The safety of the motoring public though outweighs any other consideration.

    That stretch of road is notoriously conjested and has an accident rate 3 time the state average. Of course if the diverse population of Wake County could find it in their hearts to go 55 MPH the posted speed limit instead of 70 to 80 MPH that would help a lot too.

    But still that area being 2 lanes each ways is defiantly to small for a major interstate. Going to three lanes each way will help. Modernizing a lot of those those on ranps so they don't back up the interstate as easily will also help.

    Of course by the time they plan, get through the court battles with local landowners, and actually build the darn thing it will be time to expand it again. LOL

    Hopefully they can get it done quicker than I540, I mean it's been over 39 years and they still don't have that completed yet!! Crazy.

  • Jeff Gameo Aug 9, 8:33 a.m.
    user avatar

    Maps show it taking a lot of NCSU property as well

  • Larry Wiandt Aug 8, 6:30 p.m.
    user avatar

    This should have been widened 20 years ago.