NCDOT's Complete 540 project still years from breaking ground
The North Carolina Department of Transportation's next big project - completing the Interstate 540 loop around Raleigh - is still years away from breaking ground, the agency announced Tuesday.Posted — Updated
NCDOT officials had hoped to cross some routes off the list after a round of public hearings in October about the project, which will extend the highway from Knightdale to Holly Springs. However, there was no overwhelming feedback that helped them narrow down the 17 alternate routes.
The agency plans to move forward with a study of how the natural and human environment would be impacted by each proposed each route.
"We owe it to the community and the people in the region to pick the route with the least environmentally damaging affects so that we get the best route for the community, and we can explain it and that's what we are trying to do," said DOT chief engineer Terry Gibson.
The next move is to conduct field work on the alternatives and prepare reports on each of them, documenting more detailed benefits, impacts and engineering components for the 17 routes. That will be followed by the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement in spring 2015. The Draft EIS will be available to the public for review and contain new information on the detailed studies.
The goal of the project, called Complete 540, to improve mobility and reduce congestion on the existing roadway network within the rapidly growing communities south and east of Raleigh, as well as provide a more direct route and quicker access to Research Triangle Park and the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
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