Solutions Remain Elusive For I-40 Traffic Jam-Up

Posted March 21, 2007
Updated March 22, 2007

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— Drivers have been complaining about a section of Interstate 40 between Wade Avenue and U.S. Highway 1/64 for years. On Wednesday, Triangle and state leaders came to the table again looking for a solution.

The stretch of road has been described as a two-lane migraine. During any given rush hour, drivers say, it's not where you want to be.

“I try to avoid it at all costs,” said driver Charlane McGraw. “I'll take a different avenue, even if it takes me five minutes out of my way, just to get around it. It's just easier not to deal with it.”

While some motorists choose to avoid it, local leaders are trying to tackle the problem area head-on. At the top of their list is the fact that when the Department of Transportation updated its seven-year Transportation Improvement Plan last month. widening that stretch of roadway wasn't part of it.

After that, the Transportation Advisory Committee, which is made up of mayors, county commissioners and others around the Triangle, said they want the DOT to come up with a Plan B. They voted unanimously to speed up the process in getting something done about I-40.

“This is the main regional choke point,” said Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker.

DOT leaders agreed the project is a high priority, but said there's just no money for it. That’s part of to a larger concern for Meeker. There are no road projects slated anywhere in the city over the next seven years.

“Raleigh and Wake County pay about $100 million a year in gas taxes, but only get in return $50 million to $60 million a year,” he said. “There's just a tremendous amount of frustration at the local level, given all the taxes being paid (and) the projects that aren't being built.”

Originally, the DOT looked at widening the area from four lanes to eight. The project, along with repairs, would cost about $60 million.

After Wednesday's meeting, DOT officials are going back to the drawing board and looking at widening it to six lanes. They said that would still ease congestion and be more affordable. But even the scaled-back plan, they said, would require funding they don't have.


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  • El Doggo Mar 22, 2007

    There is NO MONEY for this area because they stole it to use elsewhere in the state - what great democRATic (socialist) policy!!!

  • jbtilley Mar 22, 2007

    Raleigh and Wake County pay about $100 million a year in gas taxes, but only get in return $50 million to $60 million a year

    Wow. And they want to put up tolls for Wake Co. residents.

  • mothermac Mar 22, 2007

    Did any of you understand what the article said? There is no money available for this area for 7 years. You do you know what things will be like around here in 7 years. If Meeker can resolve this I might actually vote for him this go round. As far as I-40 goes, some of us have been waiting much longer for widening of the Beltline between Wade Ave. and I-40. This was promised to us when they originally began widening the Beltline. Not only is traffic always (not just rush hour) backed up here, but there are several extremely dangerous and outdated exits(think Western Blvd.) that desperately need to be fixed. I am personally tired of all the money going where new growth is. How about slowing down the growth and let's catch up with all the other problem areas first.

  • bigred841 Mar 22, 2007

    Traffic sucks! I dont want to hear what and why, just fix it, Mike Easley and if you cant, then its time to find someone who can. should have planned for this growth years and years ago.

  • El Doggo Mar 22, 2007

    You are right tarheel! There are plenty of holey heads around here! If they would get their act together and be CREATIVE instead of copying all of these other looser cities like Atlanta and Austin they would be able to correct some of our problems!!!

  • matthewrsx Mar 22, 2007

    There is a logical loophole in the effort to add more lanes to certain roads, which has been demonstrated many times in and out of our area. DOT announces they are going to widen a stretch of I-99 between Exit X and Exit Y. When they announce that, guess what happens...residential developers hear this and open up a new housing development...everyone moves in because the commute is now so much faster. Commercial developers see all the new housing and say "hey what a great place for a new strip mall..." Residential developers now see "oh gee look at all the great shopping" and open up a new tract of housing. And so on. Now with all the new people and new development, the traffic is back to where it was in the first place. And now they have to make I-99 twelve lanes.

    Where does it stop? Never. Traffic will never be good. If you live in a big city, your commute is going to suck a. End of story. Live closer to where you work or ride the bus. There are no other solutions.

  • valentine girl Mar 22, 2007

    The completion of the I-540 from US 1 to I-40 would alleviate all that traffic coming from Cary and points south. Look at what has happened when 64 bypass was completed. All that extra road widening the DOT spent MILLIONS on for the widening of Business 64 is a wasteland of unused pavement

  • tarheel1980 Mar 22, 2007

    Raleigh needs a subway system like it needs a hole in the head. Our population density will never be high enough to make that successful. Raleigh and the Triangle area need to get their heads out of the sand and do something about improving the highway system to support the volume that is already here.

  • smoothtip99 Mar 22, 2007

    Raleigh needs a subway system desperately

  • tarheel1980 Mar 22, 2007

    We should highway construction money that equals the amount we are paying in. $100,000,000 is alot better than nothing.