Traffic

Triangle Parkway contractors answer questions

Posted October 7, 2009

— Officials with the company contracted to build a portion of the state's first toll road said members of the community can expect detours and lane closures on existing roads before the project is done.

Wilson-based S.T. Wooten Corp was contracted earlier this year for $135 million to build the 3.4-mile Triangle Parkway, which runs from N.C. Highway 147 in Durham to N.C. Highway 540 in Morrisville.

Jonathan Bivens, vice president of  S.T. Wooten Corp., told members of the community during an open house Wednesday that the closures should be in the evening and not during prime-time traffic.

Crews work on the Triangle Parkway on Oct. 7, 2009. Triangle Parkway construction under way

The road could open as early as 2011.

“You get some people saying, ‘I won’t ride it. I won’t pay a toll.’ But you get a lot more people who will say, ‘I will be glad when you get it open so I can get to my job easier and quicker,’” Bivens said.

The Triangle Parkway is one of three parts of the larger Triangle Expressway, an 18.8-mile toll road that, when complete, is expected to cut 20 to 25 minutes off the average commute time between Holly Springs and the Research Triangle Park.

The 2.8-mile Northern Wake Expressway – the first section of the Triangle Expressway from N.C. 540 between N.C. Highway 54 in Morrisville and N.C. Highway 55 near Research Triangle Park – opened two years ago, and drivers have been using it toll-free since then.

The final section, the 12.6-mile Western Wake Freeway from N.C. 55 in Cary to N.C. 55 in Holly Springs is expected to open in 2012.

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  • jasonlshaw Oct 14, 2009

    The turnpike authority is pushing hard to validate their existence with this road. All the number estimates are inflated. The fact is that local commuters are not as likely to use it as people traveling longer distances. Sad part is that it doesn't connect back to I-40. That will be when it's worth it for people headed to the beach in the summer on Friday afternoon.

  • james27613 Oct 8, 2009

    $4 a day round trip may not look expensive but that
    comes out to $ 1,000 a year based on 50 work weeks.

  • james27613 Oct 8, 2009

    The reason for sign changes is because NC can't toll a US interstate highway. By making building the road as NC-540, the state can toll it.

    >>>
    That is why they changed the signs from Interstate 540 to black and white 540 signs.

  • pbjbeach Oct 8, 2009

    why is it that the nc legisture doesn't have enough foresight to at least try an see beyond the end of their noses or i guess what i am trying to say is that there needs to be better planning an looking to the future of north carolina than to just throw all funding in to exclusively road building this whole state could an would benefit from more an better foresight planning an the infrastructure for mass transit like a state wide rail system like what is presently being built in the norfolk, va an virginia beach, va area a new rail system for transit between these two areas thank you

  • kcfoxie Oct 8, 2009

    I fully support this toll initiative, it's long over due.

  • Fuquayone Oct 7, 2009

    "The 2.8-mile Northern Wake Expressway – the first section of the Triangle Expressway from N.C. 540 between N.C. Highway 54 in Morrisville and N.C. Highway 55 near Research Triangle Park – opened two years ago, and drivers have been using it toll-free since then."

    No, that section was paid for already. It was lumped into the project as they knew many people would exit when the tolling starts at Highway 55. That is why they changed the signs from Interstate 540 to black and white 540 signs.

  • lkanzig Oct 7, 2009

    BUILD MORE ROADS! THATS WHAT WE NEED!!
    how about a mass transit system that has some common sense? or is that asking for way to much?

  • OpinionOnEverything Oct 7, 2009

    I don't believe the intersection at 55/540 will have a toll in the near future, so if you don't want to pay, all you have to do is go down a mile from the 147/40 split, or down 55 and get onto 540 for free. It's not much of a hassle, since there are fewer jobs coming in to the RTP. Eventually, all of 540 will get tolled, but most folks in Apex and Holly Springs will be glad to pay just to avoid I40 or the bottleneck at the downtown Apex railroad bridge on 55. Whatever traffic is taken off 40 or 55, such as through-traffic from outside the Triangle, will make things manageable on 40 and 55 if you want to avoid paying a toll on the short expressway portion. Unless we get another 10,000 jobs in the next ten years, or you're just an impatient type, we'll be fine. When gas prices go back up over $5 a gallon, you might also want to consider riding your bike up the American Tobacco trail from Bonsal to Southpoint. You might want to look for homesites along the trail ;)