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Red route elimination paves way for Garner center

Posted July 18, 2011

— The Town of Garner broke ground Monday on a center to help treat troubled youth that is expected to create 250 new jobs.

Strategic Behavioral Health's $12 million center is located at 3200 Waterfield Road, in the path once proposed for the southeast extension of N.C. Highway 540.

After uproar from Garner residents, legislators in March blocked the state Department of Transportation from considering the so-called “red route.” The southeast portion of N.C. 540 extends the Triangle Expressway toll road and completes the loop highway.

Garner Mayor Ronnie Williams said the Memphis, Tenn.-based company was originally scared away by the red route but changed its mind when the route was eliminated.

"We are where we are today because we got rid of the red route. I love it when a plan comes together," Williams said.

Toll road planners are still trying to determine where they can construct the southeast portion of N.C. 540.

The so-called "orange route, which runs south of the red route, was an option for a while, but an endangered species of mussels was discovered in a creek along the route. Federal law said road planners must offer an alternative that won't hurt the mussels.

Garner Mayor: 'Don't mess with us' Garner Mayor: 'Don't mess with us'

State officials said finding a new route could take years. 

The Triangle Expressway will run from existing N.C. Highway 540 in western Wake County south of Interstate 40 to the N.C. Highway 55 Bypass in Holly Springs.

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  • dlnorri Jul 19, 12:13 p.m.

    As a followup to those who do not understand. What this article misses is the 540 cooridior was approved 20 or so years ago. The land is purchased. It is on all the maps. The TPA came up with these new plans to try to maximize revenue, as stated in my other note, the mussels are a smoke screen to raise TPA cover large revenue grabs by the TPA.

  • dlnorri Jul 19, 12:06 p.m.

    The mussels are a scam to eliminate construction of the 540 section between I40 and Knightdale. They want to capture (and toll) all of the I40/US64/I440 traffic. See http://www.ncturnpike.org/pdf/SEWorkshops/Hybrid%201.pdf
    A present from Mr's Easly and Black to the folks in NC....

  • Come On_Seriously Jul 19, 9:58 a.m.

    "How do we really know the mussels are endangered?? All we have is some Liberal/Democrat/Communist/tree-hugger/Obama voteing/enviromental whacko's word for it." Sez me

    From the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Dwarf wedgemussel. Alasmidonta heterodon. Federally endangered. http://www.fws.gov/nc-es/es/countyfr.html

    If the Conservative/Republican/Tbag/money-hungry/Palin-Bachman idiocy-loving/conspiracy theorist whacko's tried to understand instead of scream, the majority of us who are moderate (that's still liberal to most conservatives, it seems) could get some work done.

  • BSEE Jul 19, 9:30 a.m.

    Hmmm, maybe Garner just did not like the way it divided the area and could possibly stunt the town. There is always a better way to do things, we just have to be willing and look. Maybe, move the mussels to a new home. Maybe I do not need 540 down at Garner if I have to pay a toll to ride on it. I already pay enough, the money is just wasted. Use our tax dollars efficiently and maybe people would not be in such an uproar. Think about it.

  • tux Jul 19, 9:24 a.m.

    "I suppose building a bridge over the creek is way beyond DOT's level of expertise."

    Runoff from a bridge would drain directly into the creek.

  • Lamont Johnson Jul 18, 7:21 p.m.

    Mussels? Seriously? The Orange route has been the plan for 20+ years and they want to move it to save some mussels in a creek? Wow. What a fascinating world we live in...

  • mmtlash Jul 18, 7:01 p.m.

    thanks to all the suburban sprawl around Garner any route is going to create an uproar

  • Buck Farack Jul 18, 6:33 p.m.

    How do we really know the mussels are endangered?? All we have is some Liberal/Democrat/Communist/tree-hugger/Obama voteing/enviromental whacko's word for it.

  • Buck Farack Jul 18, 6:31 p.m.

    Here's an idea...get rid of the mussels! I hear they're very tasty in a red sauce!

  • Buck Farack Jul 18, 6:30 p.m.

    I suppose building a bridge over the creek is way beyond DOT's level of expertise.

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