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Land at center of latest N.C. 540 extension controversy

Posted December 2, 2010

— A 420-acre piece of undeveloped land, nine miles from downtown Raleigh, is at the center of a new controversy over the planned extension to the state’s first toll road.

The North Carolina Turnpike Authority held a public meeting Thursday evening with residents in southeast Wake County over a proposed route that would extend N.C. Highway 540 from Interstate 40 to the U.S. Highway 264 Bypass in Knightdale.

Residents in the so-called Tan Corridor don’t want the route, saying it would negatively affect a number of neighborhoods, including Pine Hollow, Willowbrook, Stoney Creek, Avalon and White Oak Plantation.

The route, added to several other proposed paths for the N.C. 540 Southeast Extension, runs almost adjacent to a previously laid out route, the Green Corridor, which would affect the Randleigh Farm property owned by the City of Raleigh and Wake County.

Both municipalities purchased the land in 2005 for the purpose of an environmentally friendly multi-use development.

Jennifer Harris, director of planning and environmental studies for the Turnpike Authority, says the Tan Corridor was added after Raleigh and Wake asked planners to look into an alternative route.

“They wanted us to look at an option that would minimize the impact of the project on their property,” Harris said.

Residents oppose newest 540 route Residents oppose newest 540 route

The city acknowledges that it asked for an alternate route, but Wake County Community Services Manager Tim Maloney says it never did.

Maloney says the county has been inundated with complaints about the Tan Corridor and is backing off any support it might have had for the route if it’s at the expense of homeowners.

The Southeast Extension will extend the Triangle Expressway – currently under construction in southeast Wake County and part of northeast Johnston County – and complete the Raleigh Outer Loop.

The Turnpike Authority says it expects to decide on a route by mid-2012, though the ultimate decision won't be made until the end of 2013.

Construction could begin as early as 2018.

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  • I Change This Name Daily Dec 3, 1:34 p.m.

    "I would love to know why this little critter is valuable that it must be an endangered species. If it were an ELK or some type of deer, that's one thing. But a mussell, well-are we going to let the tree huggers win-AGAIN!!" - cwood3

    yeah! that mussel head doesn't look as good over your fireplace does it? although it doesn't screw up your car as bad when you plow into it

  • OGE Dec 3, 1:09 p.m.

    I would love to know why this little critter is valuable that it must be an endangered species. If it were an ELK or some type of deer, that's one thing. But a mussell, well-are we going to let the tree huggers win-AGAIN!!-cwood3

    Yes and the uneducated continue to post on WRAL

  • thx1138 Dec 3, 1:08 p.m.

    "go check out the area near wake tech....it's already cleared"

    I think the timber was cleared for the money, not for the highway - although I'd put money that's where the highway will eventually go through.

  • OGE Dec 3, 1:06 p.m.

    Hey Wake County, It's called eminent domain! Take the land you want for 540 and tell the whiners to suck it up!

  • I Change This Name Daily Dec 3, 12:48 p.m.

    might as well bend over and let the "authority" put the road right up your azz

  • ObamaMustGo aka NCcarguy Dec 3, 12:40 p.m.

    for those that think you may have some say in this....go check out the area near wake tech....it's already cleared.

  • spidermunkee Dec 3, 11:56 a.m.

    Yes, we need better routes but with our state in the financial condition it's in, why not put the money elsewhere if possible. If it has to be spent on roads, why not go through and repair the ones that are in horrible shape as it is.

  • Nobody but Carolina Dec 3, 11:36 a.m.

    Gotta agree with cwood3 on the time frame. It was about the same timeframe for the Knightdale Bypass as the Clayton Bypass. I believe first discussions on three possible routes were brought up in 1985 with the Bypass being completed in 2006.

  • cwood3 Dec 3, 10:21 a.m.

    You folks realize that this section of raod may be 15 years out. In 1991, we had all kinds of meetings concerning the Clayton by-pass. They broke ground 14 years later!! Oh-and this little critter-the dwarf wedge mussel was an issue for us as well.

    I would love to know why this little critter is valuable that it must be an endangered species. If it were an ELK or some type of deer, that's one thing. But a mussell, well-are we going to let the tree huggers win-AGAIN!!

    The road-someday-needs to be built on Raleigh's farm land. Actually, they probably bought the land so it could appreciate in value-alot before they would have to sell it. Interesting business practice-hummm!!

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Dec 3, 10:09 a.m.

    Another Meeker mistake. By the way, why is the Mayor of Raleigh causing problems in Wake County. Didn't know Meeker was elected Mayor of Wake County as well.

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