Turnpike Authority approves toll road bids

Posted August 20, 2008

— The North Carolina Turnpike Authority's Board of Governors on Wednesday approved bids for construction of the remainder of the Triangle Expressway.

S.T. Wooten Corp. of Wilson bid more than $137.4 million on the Triangle Parkway, a 3.4-mile toll highway between N.C. 147, which is the Durham Freeway, and N.C. Highway 540 in Morrisville.

The Raleigh/Durham Road Builders, a joint venture of Archer Western Contractors and Granite Construction with the LPA Group as lead designer, bid more than $446.4 million for the Western Wake Freeway, a 12.6-mile stretch. It will be an extension of the new N.C. 540, from N.C. 55 near Research Triangle Park to N.C. 55 between Holly Springs and Apex.

The bids total nearly $584 million – about $62 million less than what the Turnpike Authority expected.

Wednesday's vote means the contractors have a notice of bid. Construction can't begin until bonds are issued, which could happen in mid-October.

If so, the Triangle Parkway could open by December 2010, the Western Wake Freeway by 2011.

The first of the three sections of the Triangle Expressway, the Northern Wake Expressway, opened in July 2007 and stretches 2.8 miles from N.C. 54 in Morrisville to N.C. 55 near Research Triangle Park.


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  • nofear Aug 21, 2008

    what a scam, our government at its best.

  • Bob Sidel Aug 21, 2008

    theres a special on kleenex tissues this week at food lion for all the cry babies in here.

  • SheriffTruman Aug 21, 2008

    Quote from AtALost: "Just don't get how taxpayers have to pay for a company doing an inadequate job."

    The reason the public has to pay is that the contractor did what they were told to do. It was a mistake by the DOT in the design that caused the issue, not shoddy workmanship.

    But why let facts get in the way of a good rant?

  • Bendal1 Aug 21, 2008

    "Change the rest of 540 to a toll road then the new section can be paid for faster. It is a crime eastern Wake gets a free 540 and western Wake gets a toll."

    (Looks at map)

    I think you need a geography lesson, or at least a class in how to read a map. I-540 runs from I-40 (west of Raleigh) to US 64 NE of the city; by any stretch of the imagination that puts the majority of the route west and NW of Raleigh. Even when the tolled road is built, "eastern Raleigh" still won't have either a free or a tolled route!

    Oh, and your suggestion about "make all I-540 a toll road" won't work; FHWA would require ALL their money be paid back to them first; that's hundreds of millions of dollars this state doesn't have right now.

  • IdoNOTliveinDurham Aug 20, 2008

    hmmmmmmm will this go toward the 700+ Million they have robbed from the school systems or be another slush fund

  • oldscool Aug 20, 2008

    This is great! We have one of the highest gasoline taxes in the country and now we have to resort to building toll roads?? Speaking for alot of the people of NC, thanks to all of the Dems in Raleigh for WASTING OUR MONEY!!!!

  • MeatHead Aug 20, 2008

    Quit crying Raleigh! You guys have been given enough money over the years! It's someone else's turn to get some relief.Other communities are stressed as well with their roadways.Cry me a river!

  • Tired_of_LIBERALS Aug 20, 2008

    Good for them! They will never get a dollar from me for that garbage! I will never set tire on that roadway!!!

  • AtALost Aug 20, 2008

    Wow. Almost 600 million for 16 miles. No way the tolls will end on the triangle expressway and NC 540 in my lifetime. Hopefully, the Durham County managers will keep a better eye on things than they did with I40's surface. Just don't get how taxpayers have to pay for a company doing an inadequate job.

  • Lit Aug 20, 2008

    "Turnpike Authority approves toll road bids"

    But have the citizens of Wake county approved of these toll roads? Seems like this issue should have been up for public vote, and not government vote.