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Meetings begin for feedback on south Wake toll road

Posted December 7, 2015
Updated December 8, 2015

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— The North Carolina Department of Transportation is ready to take public comments about proposed routes for the 540 toll road through southern Wake County and neighbors whose homes could be destroyed are ready to speak up.

Among the pine trees in southern Wake County, Dr. Kristen Valus and her husband found what she calls their “forever home” in 2013.

“My whole dream here was to have a hobby farm,” said Valus.

They knew the DOT was considering several options to complete 540 south of Raleigh, but the Valuses thought their property was safe after DOT officials removed the purple route from consideration in 2010.

Valus and her husband bought the house expecting to have to do some improvements on the roof and siding. Five days after closing on the home, they found out they were back in the proposed purple route and have been in limbo ever since.

“We just can’t be settled. We’re waiting to see if we have to move or not,” said Valus.

After years of study, there’s new movement on the plan to complete the toll road. Last month, federal officials gave the go-ahead for the state to get public comments about which route is best.

“There are actually 17 different alternate routes that stretch from Holly Springs to Knightdale, so we need people to come out and give their opinion,” said North Carolina DOT spokesperson Ginny Inman.

The state would make its recommendation in spring of 2016. After federal approval, construction could begin in 2018. Valus is hoping that the purple route is not selected.

“The road goes literally through the living room,” said Valus.

Valus and her neighbors are leading a Facebook group and petition urging DOT officials to pick another route.

“It’s up to us now to really speak our minds,” she said.

The DOT will hold public meetings next week in Holly Springs and Raleigh. There is a public hearing at the main Wake Tech campus Wednesday night at 7 p.m. Residents can also comment about the plan online.

15 Comments

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  • Bryan Ayers Dec 7, 2015
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    The perspective of the Citizen is irrelevant. Progress.

  • Arthur Raleigh Dec 7, 2015
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    Yep! I have been waching DOTs land purchases. They are just doing the legal thing with the meetings. You can already see the route!

  • Raleigh Rose Dec 7, 2015
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    This road should be built by now. It could have been planned, built, people re-settled and probably have needed re-paving by the time they figure out where to put the thing.

  • Lisa Grabowski Dec 7, 2015
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    So much this ^^. We moved into an Apex neighborhood by Olive Chapel back in 2000. We knew of rumors that a highway would be built super close to the elementary school, blah blah blah. By the time that section of road was built / completed, I had gone to and graduated from college. So yeah, "we can't be settled" is weak. By the time they know a definite answer, they'll still have years before it's done. Come on now.

  • Dean Logan Dec 7, 2015
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    They could have relocated the entire pond with the little animals by now.

    What a waste of time and resources.

  • David McCabe Dec 7, 2015
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    The properties I have found are very close to the Orange route. DOT has been buying properties along the rough path of that route since 2003.

    Here's a look at it from Wake GIS.
    http://imgur.com/govTD1i

  • BigWillie Johnson Dec 7, 2015
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    They already have a good idea of where they WANT to build it, taking into account, already owned land, land that has to be purchased, disruption of lives and meeting the goal of completing the route. Part of the Federal loan requirements, is to get input from the citizenry. However, they already have where they WANT to build.

  • John Snow Dec 7, 2015
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    Interesting. Which route is that?

  • Brian Lancaster Dec 7, 2015
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    I vote RED route!

  • Andrew Stephenson Dec 7, 2015
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    I don't understand why this sob story was even posted. Every single one of these routes will destroy someone's home. There is no "winning" situation. Not saying it doesn't need to happen, but someone is always going to be hurt when new roads get built.

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