New stretch of Triangle Expressway opens; tolling to start Thursday

Posted August 1, 2012

— A 6-mile stretch of N.C. Highway 540, which runs from N.C. Highway 55 in Cary to U.S. Highway 64 in Apex, opened Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m. 

Drivers got a free ride along the new stretch of road, which is three lanes in both directions, throughout the day Wednesday.

Triangle Parkway Map: Triangle Expressway and Western Wake Freeway

Beginning Thursday, the stretch of road, called the Western Wake Freeway will be tolled, along with the Northern Wake Expressway – the existing stretch of N.C. 540 between N.C. Highway 54 and N.C. 55 in Cary. 

Toll rates will range from 30 cents to $5, depending on the distance traveled, type of vehicle and method of tolling. According to the North Carolina Turnpike Authority, drivers will pay an average of 15 cents per mile. 

Motorists can pay the tolls in two ways: automatically through an N.C. Quick Pass transponder placed on a vehicle's windshield or by mail after an overhead camera captures a vehicle's license plate. 

The transponder is linked to a credit card or a pre-paid account, and drivers receive a monthly statement, as well as a 35 percent savings. With the alternative method, the vehicle's owner receives a monthly bill.

"By itself, it provides better mobility in RTP directly, but we expect the ridership to really take off once we open a piece of 540 here," said Jason Peterson with the N.C. Turnpike Authority.

Patty Baker said in July that she already had her N.C. Quick Pass on her car's windshield.

Triangle Expressway toll collection sign New stretch of Triangle Expressway opens

"I don't think anyone is happy with paying, but the (toll road) will get you where you want to go a lot quicker," she said. "If I'm going in a direction where I can take it, I'll get on."

Driver Kent Shackleford echoed those sentiments, saying the new stretch of the Triangle Parkway will "help relieve congestion."

Construction continues on the final 8.4 miles of the Western Wake Freeway, from U.S. 64 in Apex to the N.C. 55 Bypass in Holly Springs, and that section is on course to open in January.


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  • chargernut69 Aug 2, 2012

    No money will be provided by me for these tolls.... I'll take the same route I have for the past 15 years -- without funding more money for Bev Perdue's pet projects.

  • ConservativeVoter Aug 2, 2012

    I wouldn't have a problem with toll roads if North Carolina didn't already have the highest gas tax in the Southeast.

    The gas tax is supposed to pay for road construction and maintenance.

  • pbjbeach Aug 2, 2012

    samdutes : an you could an would be able to do so were it not for the current bunch of legisture in the nc house of respresentives that are determined to give the entire revenue stream comming for the states taxpayers to contracting enity across this sstate in the form of flase claims an unjsutified payemt to these contracting enity for the bad non specefiation work that they have been responsibly for privideing ti the taxpayers of this state with mees up highway const5uctions projects thatdont even mee the ncdot's own specefications for roadways an bridges thank you

  • pbjbeach Aug 2, 2012

    You can call this increased fees to ride on this section of the new express way anything that you want to call it . but in all reality it is a tax pure an simple on the peole of north carolina becaues of the excessive spending on two unjustified wars as that there are federal taxpayers dollars involved in this construction project. the republican party dont wan it called atax because they have pledge to grover norquist to not raise taxes but it is a tax on the people of this state for supplying the coporations/an big an small business a way an means of getting their products an goods an services to market across this state it is a tax though pure an simple . an i dont care what you call it . it is a tax period just not by republican standards it is called a fee . i think it should be named for an call by the nmae of contis folly for a name for this express way he has been bought an paid for by the contracting industry as well a all of the members of the nc legisture that have gone alo

  • KermitDFrog Aug 2, 2012

    From what I can see, State Troopers are also patrolling the new section with a never-before-seen intensity. Look out Western Wake... The tolls aren't the only thing that's gonna get you.

  • fayncmike Aug 2, 2012

    ""now have a big blind spot...looks like an 8-track tape glued to my windshield common tater"

    I forgot to ask you if you were an astronomer.

  • pooodaddy Aug 2, 2012

    "The DOT didn't build that road" - Obama

  • samdutes Aug 2, 2012

    You are entitled to pay whatever it takes to run the state properly just like everyone else. If you don't like it, I've heard that taxes are very low in Alaska. Maybe you'd be happier there?--fayncmike.

    By tolling roads that should be taken care of by the taxes designed to do so would be running the state properly. I wish people with your attitude would go back to where they came from...:)

  • ConservativeVoter Aug 2, 2012

    "It is really amusing to me that everyone wants everything but do not want to pay for what they want. Than they turn right around and whine about others receiving, "entitlements." They expect the government to pay for their entitlements but not the entitlements of other people. - piene2"

    Road construction is one of the few entitlement programs sanctioned by the constitution. Roads are supposed to be built and maintained to support commerce and defense.

    The other entitlements that Democrats defend including welfare, food stamps, etc... aren't guaranteed by the constitution.

  • fayncmike Aug 2, 2012

    "When I pay gas taxes, road use taxes and licensing fees I should be "entitled" to ride on a state road toll free.

    You are entitled to pay whatever it takes to run the state properly just like everyone else. If you don't like it, I've heard that taxes are very low in Alaska. Maybe you'd be happier there?