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Garner residents fill meeting about proposed 540 expansion

Posted December 14, 2010
Updated January 21, 2011

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— Garner citizens filled a community clubhouse Tuesday to express concerns over the southeast extension of Interstate 540.

One route, called the Red Corridor, would run right through the town of Garner. The North Carolina Turnpike Authority is considering new routes after an endangered species of mussels was discovered in a creek along the Orange Corridor, the original planned expansion area.

Many of the people who came out to oppose the expansion don't have a home in the direct path of any of the nine proposed routes.

"The road comes about a quarter of a mile from my backyard, so yeah, a lot of people are not directly affected, but indirectly," said Garner resident Diane Ripollone.

Concerns voiced at the meeting focused primarily on home values and traffic issues and were directed to engineering consultants representing the Turnpike Authority.

The consultants said meetings with a great deal of opposition weigh heavily on the final decision, but Garner resident T.J. Worsley was skeptical.

"I don't trust what they're saying, not at all," Worsley said. "We would like to eliminate the middle man and talk directly to the officials who will be making the decision."

Red route opponents pack public meeting Red route opponents pack public meeting

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. 

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  • Dixiecrat Dec 16, 2010

    All the Garner folks have to do is get some mussels from the creeks that cross the orange line, put them in the creeks that cross the red line, and their problems are solved.

  • ObamaMustGo aka NCcarguy Dec 15, 2010

    gotta love how Bendal1....a government beauracrat just matter of factly states that these things are like nature itself...it's the "LAW" so it must be done.....you people keep voting these greedy politicians into office that cater to these special interest groups (this one happens to be the global warming nuts) and then don't like the end result.....well....surprise!

  • Bendal1 Dec 15, 2010

    RE: endangered mussel

    DOT has no control over this. Both Federal and state environmental laws require an 'avoidance alternative' be studied if endangered species are found along a route. Plus, just choosing a corridor as was done over a decade ago with the Orange line is not allowed any longer. DOT is required by law to study at least two alternatives; the endangered species just puts more requirements on them.

    I expect the Orange line will end up being selected, with mitigation for the mussels built into the project. The studies have to be carried out to the end though, folks. It's the law.

  • Smart Alex Dec 15, 2010

    I live about 1/4 mile from the red route. I moved to Garner about 5 years ago, and I don't want to move. I have found a nice town with a real community atmosphere. The red route slices right through it, destroying multiple neighborhoods, business, and parks, some that were just built. What I found out at that meeting was that they can still choose the Orange route if they make some concessions to protect the mussels. It has to be cheaper than buying out hundreds of people, especially since the land around the Orange route has been protected from development for over 15 years, just for this highway. You bet I'm complaining, whining, crying, whatever you want to call it. The Turnpike Authority is sure to hear much more from Garner, from those of us who love our town.

  • NU Blackshirts Dec 15, 2010

    I live close to swift creek and go down and dig mussels for catfishing all the time, guess I'd better stop.

  • cwood3 Dec 15, 2010

    Get right-you are absolutely right. Now, remember, these mussells are water filters. However, when the biologists were looking for them below Lake benson, they found 4 in 2 miles. That's really endangered-oh-but they are over near Austin Pond in Swift Creek there.

    WE waited 10 years extra for the Clayton by pass because of this little mussell. That 10 years probably doubled the cost of the highway.

  • The Deadhead Dec 15, 2010

    If you really want to solve the triangle's traffic problem, you need to decentralize employment centers and add more major employers in Johnston county (east). When you have centralized employment centers like RTP, then it creates traffic problems at peak times. In the morning, the majority of the traffic on I-40 is heading west; in the afternoon/evening the majority of traffic is heading east. If there were more major employers in the east (eastern Wake/ Johnston), then some of that traffic would not have to go west to RTP. The idea is to spread the jobs out which also spreads the traffic out. The morning traffic from Johnston County on I-40 going west into Wake (where the jobs are) is ridiculous. Road widening and construction will not solve this traffic problem. I-540 is a congested mess west of Capital Boulevard in the peak AM and PM.

  • Peace Love and Cold Meds Dec 15, 2010

    "It'll forever lower the quality of life in Garner."

    Is that really possible?

    When it's said and done the DOT will do what they want and it looks Garner will be the winner.

  • superman Dec 15, 2010

    We all want better roads-better schools and all that stuff-- but then no one wants to be affected by the progress. You just cant have it both ways-- no matter where or when or how they build the new road-- people will be affected. New schools do almost the same way-- they affect traffic. People want to live near schools but dont like the traffic they create. I wouldnt want to sell my house and move either. The other alternative is not to build the road at all. When you travel you should think about the people who had to sell and move and make way for progress. People will be affected no matter what they do.

  • The Deadhead Dec 15, 2010

    How many of yall have seen "the map"? Garner is fighting the red and pink corridor. Lots of other folks are fighting the green and tan corridor. The orange corridor is what's been protected over the years.

    http://www.ncturnpike.org/pdf/Updated_Corridor_Overview_Map_Nov_2010.pdf

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