Traffic

Raleigh church fights possible 540 route

Posted December 12, 2010

— The pastor of a Raleigh church is taking on the North Carolina Turnpike Authority over a possible change in the planned route for the southern extension of Interstate 540.

Rev. Daniel Sanders leads Springfield Baptist Church on Auburn-Knightdale Road in Raleigh. The church owns 40 acres of property there, and plans to build a multi-purpose family center, a K-12 school and affordable housing for people in need, Sanders said.

"This would be such a setback, and this would just devastate us," he said.

The route, called the Red Corridor, would run directly through the church's property as well as the Town of Garner. The turnpike authority is considering new routes after an endangered species of mussels was discovered on the original proposed expansion area.

Members of the church's congregation are confident that Sanders will win this fight.

"I think Reverend Sanders is doing a great job as a leader of this church, and we will continue to follow suit," said Whitley Hartwell.

Sanders said it's his duty to protect church property from outside development.

"As a pastor of this church, I would be derelict if I took this thing too lightly," he said.

In the meantime, Sanders and his congregation are working with the Town of Garner to oppose the Red Corridor, and have sent petitions and letters to the turnpike authority.

"We are standing on faith," said congregant Vira Hogan. "We are believing and trusting in God that our home and our church will be left standing."

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

The Turnpike Authority 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. 

47 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • jenks23 Dec 13, 2010

    So kewlmom will they pay the church for the 40 acres of property they own? Will they give them 40 acres somewhere else? IF they do that, then I do not have a problem with it. But I also do not have a problem with them standing up & fighting for their congregation! Maybe they have already submitted the plans to build & are just waiting for approval. The story doesn't tell us that. I know I drive by there frequently & it seems to almost always be packed, so they are doing something right!

  • Hist3Tchr Dec 13, 2010

    It is going to go through the church. Look at the Turnpike Authority website.

  • usmcasa Dec 13, 2010

    Kill an endangered species or move a church? These people are blinded by their selfishness.

  • OGE Dec 13, 2010

    If I'm reading the article correctly, the road is not going through the historical 144 year old church building. It is going through VACANT land owned by the church congregation that has not been developed. Huge difference.
    kewlmom

    The build it self is not 144 years old.

  • kewlmom Dec 13, 2010

    If I'm reading the article correctly, the road is not going through the historical 144 year old church building. It is going through VACANT land owned by the church congregation that has not been developed. Huge difference.

  • Timtooltime Dec 13, 2010

    You can not stop progress . The N.C.T.A. has more power than the governor !

  • cary1969 Dec 13, 2010

    What have mussels done for you lately?/////
    sat in cream sauce on top of angel hair pasta

  • kjackson47 Dec 13, 2010

    There r too many churches peroid!

  • OGE Dec 13, 2010

    And the original "protected" route has been know for at least 15 years. If you had, or bought, property along this route, you've known about 540 coming through it. This Red route only popped up back in Sept. Any why is the toll only on the Southern portion of 540? Why do I even need 540? If I want to get somewhere, I can get on I-40 in about 5 minutes from about anywhere in Garner.
    Garnerwolf1

    Just glad the portion from 264 to 40 is FREE...oh yeah!

  • Pseudonym Dec 13, 2010

    Is this an actual endangered mussel or are the greenies playing games with the species names again? In other words, calling it a "White Creek Inverted Mussel" because 5 samples of a very common freshwater mussel were found upside-down in White Creek?

More...