Turnpike Authority addresses toll road concerns

Posted December 3, 2009
Updated December 4, 2009

— A long-awaited road project in Wake County is becoming closer to a reality.

The North Carolina Turnpike Authority held an open house Thursday for area businesses and residents about the Western Wake Freeway, a segment of the state's first toll road, the Triangle Expressway.

The Turnpike Authority says several businesses and nearly three dozen homes will be directly affected by the roadway and will have to relocate.

Hundreds of people attended the informal event to discuss the project with builders and to review the designs and the route.

The 12.6-mile, $446 million roadway runs from existing N.C. Highway 540 in western Wake County south of Interstate 40 to the N.C. Highway 44 bypass in Holly Springs.

"We've been there a long time," Apex resident Marvin Howard said. "We've been there since I was a little child, so it's going to bring a few tears, but we'll live."

The contractor, The Raleigh-Durham Road Builders, says it hopes to begin clearing trees in the next few weeks. The project is expected to be complete by the end of 2012.

The first section of the three-part, 18.8-mile Triangle Expressway – N.C. Highway 540 between N.C. Highway 54 in Morrisville and N.C. 55 near Research Triangle Park – opened two years ago, and drivers have been using it toll-free since then.

The other section, the 3.4-mile Triangle Parkway from I-40 and the Durham Freeway to N.C. 540 is expected to open in 2011.

The Triangle Expressway will use an electronic, no-stop, cashless toll system. The price of the tolls has yet to be determined, but the Western Wake design team estimates it could be about 10 cents to 20 cents per mile.


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  • pbjbeach Dec 9, 2009

    This turnpike authority is just more political corruption at it's finest here in north carolina just in order so that the governor an her corines can create more iseless positions to be fillied an paid high salary's by the taxpaying citizens of this state . i TO SAY IF THE FUNDING IT;S THERE JUST DONT BUILD IT AN WAIT UNTIL THE FUNDING IS AVAILABLE thank you

  • chargernut69 Dec 8, 2009

    Bet I don't use it.... I have been using the NC-540 between NC-55 and NC-54, but if it takes me another 5 minutes to go a different route, I will...

    It's just an excuse for development of the gas stations, shopping centers, etc. to create new taxes & support the pockets of the NC government officials.

  • Vietnam Vet Dec 4, 2009

    Interesting...we pay road/highway taxes that are supposed to fund highway construction and repair. So why are we building a toll road? I say if the money isn't there to pay for this section of road then don't build it until the funds are available. Why are we paying an additional tax/fee for this road? I'm with the rest of the folks that say they're not going to use this excuse to dig further into our pockets when there are "free" alternatives that we've already paid for.

  • chivegas Dec 4, 2009

    I hope they're smart enough to use one of the major toll collection systems like EZ-Pass and not some homegrown stand-alone junk.

  • whatelseisnew Dec 4, 2009

    "I fully support the toll initiative, it's about 5 years late if you ask me. Toll 95 next, at the boarders."

    I am always amazed at people that support being taxed more than they already are taxed. 20 to 30 cents per mile and you already are paying close to 50 cents per mile in tax just on gasoline. Now add in inspection tax, license plate tax, property tax, tax on tires and any other maintenance items, and on and on and on. The problem is that they take too much money, not that they do not take enough.

  • kcfoxie Dec 4, 2009

    I look forward to using this toll toad and avoiding 55 when going to Holly Springs. It will be a god send. 30 to 40 cents per mile is nothing to me, my car operates at less than 23-cents a mile with fuel, insurance and maintenance. The time saved and fuel economy increases from not dealing with the idiots in Cary and Apex on 55 will make up for the short term expense of the toll for me.

    I fully support the toll initiative, it's about 5 years late if you ask me. Toll 95 next, at the boarders.

  • SilverWolf Dec 3, 2009

    I see the Gov. is doing its best to steal more cash from the citizens of NC. A toll road that only residents will use is just blatant thievery of the highest degree. Anyone who uses this road once it is built is an idiot. The turn-pike committee needs to be taken out and tared and feathered for this. More taxes is the last thing the citizens of NC need and this is a tax, make no mistake about it. Bev, are you listening...its nonsense like this that will keep your sorry behind from winning a second term.

  • determined2win Dec 3, 2009

    The Turnpike Authority must obviously be insane to think that masses of people will pay to use a toll-road, when drivers could use existing non-toll roads for free?