Public gets detailed look at 17 possible 540 expansion paths
Posted October 14, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — People living in the path of the N.C. Highway 540 outer loop around Raleigh on Monday learned more about the project at the first of three public forums hosted by the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
NCDOT is considering 17 possible paths for the final section of the loop, which would run from Holly Springs to Knightdale. About 52,000 people live in the impacted area.
Susan O'Brien lives between two of the possible routes.
"I happen to be above one and right below the other one," she said. "Some of these new corridors here go through subdivisions that have 650 homes in them. The state of North Carolina does not begin to have enough money to pay for these homes."
Public opinion is only one factor in the NCDOT's decision, said project manager Eric Midkiff.
"There are other factors we factor in – the preliminary impacts in terms of the environmental impacts and the impacts to homes and businesses," he said.
Midkiff said the department understands people's concerns and that's why they are holding the public hearings to gather input.
Earl McNelty said the uncertainty about which route will be chosen leaves a bad taste in his mouth.
"It really is intimidating and it raises a lot of concerns," he said.
No funding has been set aside for the project yet and groundbreaking wouldn’t happen before 2018, officials said.
The public is invited to offer input at two more public meetings this week:
4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15
Barwell Road Community Center
3935 Barwell Road
6 to 9 p.m.Wednesday, Oct. 16
Holly Springs High School
5329 Cass Holt Road