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DOT Admits N.C. 540 Layout Causes New Traffic Headache

Posted July 19, 2007
Updated July 20, 2007

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— The North Carolina Department of Transportation on Thursday admitted it should have planned better to avoid new daily delays on Interstate 540 in Wake County.

The new extension of I-540 south of Interstate 40, called N.C. 540, was supposed to ease morning bottlenecking where I-540 connects with westbound I-40. It gives drivers more options for getting into Research Triangle Park.

But to accommodate new 540 lanes, engineers eliminated an exit lane, causing long lines on the exit ramp where vehicles are trying to exit for both east and west on I-40.

"I travel every highway at least once or twice a week with my job, and the new 540 – until it gets fixed and is easier to travel – it won't be a choice," said motorist Josh Miller.

Complaints about the I-40 interchange have been nonstop, and state Highway Administrator Bill Rosser admitted the DOT should have looked at ways to avoid the problem before now.

DOT engineers will now monitor the situation for at least a month, then will try to move forward with a solution.

"We're going to take a look at what do we do today to solve the problems of today," Rosser said.

Possible solutions include reinforcing the shoulder of the exit and building a new ramp. But one of the complicating factors, the DOT said, is that it is hemmed in by water.

"Can we do what we need to do if it's dictated?" Rosser said. "We need to do it after the traffic stabilizes. And we'll do that. We'll take a look at it."

209 Comments

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  • Frank Downtown Jul 21, 2007

    The need to just extend 40 South around Raleigh near the the Hope Valley exit to go to about Benson and it can be the south section of I540, this would get all the through traffic out of RTP and South Raleigh!!

  • Xiaoding Jul 21, 2007

    "Xiaoding - How exactly is money funneled to friends of Democrats? Every contract is awarded through a public bidding process - you can go to www.NCDOT.org and see every project to be bid for the next year, along with the ones for prior years."

    Making it very hard to track where the money goes, a different shell crew every year. As to how, shoddy, below grade materials paid full price for, no show jobs for cronies, for which the cronies pay half back to the Mob, etc. There are many ways.

    "And by the way, one of the biggst recipients of these contracts is Fred Smith, Republican candidate for Governor in 2008."

    Interesting. From what I've seen, the Republican party in this state is just a stooge for the Democrats, giving the illusion of competition.

  • richard2 Jul 21, 2007

    I bet we got the best DOT engineers with the great pay raises the state has been giving the last 20 yrs. Most of the time you get what you pay for. The head of this dept. is appointed by the governor. If you think they are doing a great job, keep voting the same way.

  • ThinkChick Jul 21, 2007

    The design was done in the late 1980's or early 1990's and not revised to account for current growth. The problem is that DOT has no accountability in part because they have no liability for slipshod work. What needs to happen is DOT should be abolished and all state transportation work should go to private engineers who, if they are sloppy will go out of business or will disappear due to liability. DOT maintains a small plan-checking crew. That's all. This model has been extremely successful in other states. It is cheaper for the taxpayer as well.

  • retSBI Jul 21, 2007

    Typical state moron mess. Guess we will study it for a year, have a million dollars worth of wrecks and insurance claims and then we will need a new tax to repair the mess. Unbelievable! Let some important politician get caught up or hurt in it if you want action.

  • SANDHILL Jul 20, 2007

    The DOT has to monitor this for a month to see they made a mistake? Oh yeah "we'll take a look at it". Probably will need a gas tax hike to pay for fixing this mess.

  • blindasabat Jul 20, 2007

    Hey Lindo,take heed from the nitwit at the DMV...just tiptoe to the door and leave your Lexus behind!!!

  • hp277 Jul 20, 2007

    Xiaoding - How exactly is money funneled to friends of Democrats? Every contract is awarded through a public bidding process - you can go to www.NCDOT.org and see every project to be bid for the next year, along with the ones for prior years.

    And by the way, one of the biggst recipients of these contracts is Fred Smith, Republican candidate for Governor in 2008.

  • Obscurite Jul 20, 2007

    "Well 1 & 3 are accurate.. and I plan to have lots of children and will teach each one of them to never allow someone else to police you."

    Well, you'll be the perfect role model.

  • Sean2625 Jul 20, 2007

    KeyStone DOT Engineers, you'd think they were fresh out of school. The whole I-40/540 thing in Durham/Wake Counties has just been on great Cluster-hmmmhmmmm. I guess we'll need to antee up more $$$$ to pay for more REWORK!!!!

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