Traffic

Ramp closed to ease fair traffic

Posted October 19, 2012
Updated October 20, 2012

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— The North Carolina Department of Transportation stepped in Saturday in an effort to ease traffic in west Raleigh for those headed to and from the State Fair and for those who simply want to avoid the mess fair crowds create.

The ramp from westbound Wade Avenue to Blue Ridge Road was scheduled to be closed Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Drivers headed to the fair from the north and east were urged to use exit Interstate 440 at Lake Boone Trail and take it west to Blue Ridge Road south to the fairgrounds. From the south and west, drivers were directed to exit Wade Avenue at Edwards Mill Road.

Saturday marks the beginning of the final weekend of the fair's 11-day run in 2012, and thanks to perfect fall weather, big crowds are likely both days. 

Through Friday, more than 700,000 people had visited the 143rd edition of the State Fair, with the high attendance mark so far coming on the opening Saturday when 118,433 people passed through the gates. 

A third consecutive year with more than 1 million visitors may be a bit out of reach despite the perfect fall weather. More than 136,000 people will need to attend both Saturday and Sunday for the fair to equal its performances in 2010 and 2011. 

In 2010, the fair set an attendance record when 1,091,887 people attended. A year ago, that number dipped slightly to 1,009,173. On Friday, as skies cleared in advance of the weekend, more than 92,000 people turned out.  

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  • busyb97 Oct 19, 2012

    "oh I SURE this will help.....NOT! Now there'll just be massive confusion from those who didn't get the memo."

    Agreed! Or folks trying to get off on Hillsborough or Lake Boone. It just cuts down on one access point and bottle necks it onto Blue Ridge/Lake Boone area. Who runs that department anyway? Wylie Coyote?? "Super genius"

  • OpenM1nd Oct 19, 2012

    Better yet, don't go. It's way over-publicized and over-rated by the news media. With the crowds, costs, lines, parking, etc., I decided two years ago that I'd never go back, especially on a Saturday. It's just not worth the hassle, no matter what the draw might be.

  • tt4400 Oct 19, 2012

    TAKE THE BUS!!!

  • Scubagirl Oct 19, 2012

    oh I SURE this will help.....NOT! Now there'll just be massive confusion from those who didn't get the memo.

  • ConservativeVoter Oct 19, 2012

    Sounds like the same brilliant person who came up with this idea was the one who eliminated one exit lane from I-540 to I-40 along with closing lanes on the on ramp from US-70 bypass to I-40 in Clayton.

  • Sound Tech Oct 19, 2012

    Seems all this will accomplish is diverting traffic from one area to another. - blahblahblah

    I think what it will do is keep traffic flowing more smoothly on I-440. Whan yo have the fair traffic and the normal traffic that would use Wade to get to I-40 west it causes a huge backup on I-440 because fair traffic will back the exit ramp up all the way back onto I-440. With the fair traffic exiting one exit early it will allow Wade to run smoothly. Now Lake Boone exit maight back out to I-440, but it will be nothing like it would back up at Wade if they did not make these changes. That is what it will accomplish.

  • blahblahblah Oct 19, 2012

    Seems all this will accomplish is diverting traffic from one area to another.

  • piknowles4 Oct 19, 2012

    This should be fun. Hate it if you live on Lake Boone.