New I-540 Stretch to Bring Relief for Some RTP Commuters

Posted June 8, 2007

A new stretch of Interstate 540 expected to ease congestion could come earlier than expected for some of the 40,000 daily commuters bound for Research Triangle Park.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation said the 4.5-mile stretch of highway, which runs from Interstate 40 at the Wake-Durham county line to N.C. Highway 55 in RTP, could open to traffic by the end of June or early July -- about a month earlier than the scheduled Aug. 1 completion date.

The new roadway should help ease some bottlenecking along I-40 and the related congestion on I-40, as well as traffic on U.S. Highway 1/64 through Cary, DOT engineer Phillip Johnson said, with three new exits into RTP, N.C. Highway 54, Davis Drive and N.C. Highway 55.

"Obviously, it's going to be a big help with those traffic problems. There's no doubt about that," he said.

As part of the new construction, crews will shut down lanes of existing I-540 near Aviation Parkway for the weekend. Detour signs, however, are posted.


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  • ReallyBigYawn Jun 9, 2007

    gopanthers-have you tried looking in Riverwood or Flowers area? I take Smithfield road AM to 264 for 1 mile, then 540. Nice scenic ride!

  • gopanthers Jun 9, 2007

    I am so grateful for the 540 Interstate. We currently live in the N.E. Section of Wake County and have been thinking of moving to the Clayton Area (which we have always loved that area) but have always found it to hard to get to. Now that 540 has opened up to the 64 bypass its a breeze to get to Clayton and back to the RTP Area. Its great. We are now house hunting in the Clayton Area (Northern Part) I know not exactly the section of I-540 their talking about here but I had just had to say something about the other side of I-540 now open. I just hope they don't impose any Tolls. I think that is not a good decision but that is a completely differnet issue/topic right now

  • ReallyBigYawn Jun 9, 2007

    Jane1- Yes I've heard and used electronic tolls. In NJ,NY and CA. We're talking Raleigh here. Traffic backs up simply because there's a hill to go over! You've got to be realistic. A dead deer on the side of the road could cause a residual back up.

  • A_News_Observer Jun 9, 2007

    You're right - nobody should ride on this road until it is a toll road. Please tell your friends, neighbors, etc. That will cut 10 minutes off of my commute!

  • Jane1 Jun 9, 2007

    ReallyBigYawn, "slow things down"? Apparently, you've never heard of electronic tolls.

  • ReallyBigYawn Jun 9, 2007

    I ride from Archer's Lodge area in Johnston Co. to RTP Davis Dr. everyday. 540 is sooo much faster than taking 40/440. Putting a toll on it would be counter productive of the convenience it provides now. It will cost more and slow traffic down. I might as well take 40/440. The new extension is going to be great. It dumps out right where I work! The only real back up is getting on to 40 in the morning. Be nice, be patient.....we're all just trying to get to work.

  • plmbgold Jun 9, 2007

    I'm with you on your first comment patriotsrevenge! Until the whole road is a toll road, I won't even use it!

  • photoz Jun 8, 2007

    I think that this new section is actually going to be really bad for people that currently take 55 to and from work. People in Apex, Holly Springs and western Cary are going to see the bottleneck that currently exists at the 540/40 merge move on down the line to 540/55.

    Not looking forward to this at all...

  • Tax Man Jun 8, 2007

    Will be glad to see this open, especially without any tolls. Thanks DOT!

  • patriotsrevenge Jun 8, 2007

    haha, very funny...not everyone in Apex is a member of Wakecares. As a matter of fact, I don't know anyone that will admit to it.