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Lingering Dust Causing Problems For I-540 Road Crews

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The state's drought situation is bad for farms and lawns, but it is also bad for road construction. Highway engineers claim dirt, turned to dust by the drought, is creating major hassles for road crews.

Crews are trying to beat the clock to open the section of Interstate 540 from Falls of Neuse Road to Capital Boulevard. Publicly, engineers said they will be ready for the road to open when the new Triangle Town Center Mall opens Aug. 14. Privately, the road builders said they cannot afford any delays and the dust does not help.

At times, road crews claim it gets so thick that it is hard to see. Sometimes, crews get held up as they wait for the water trucks to wet things down.

Residents near the construction have to deal with the lingering dust as well.

"Well, it's a constant hassle with a wife and some children that have allergies, you know. There's dust in the house all the time and the cars, everything is just completely covered with dust, so we don't even really try to keep things as clean as we should," resident Greg Strader said.

While Strader and his daughter try to dodge the dust, their neighbor, John Krissel, said he watches the dust-water down-dust routine all day.

"They come in with the water truck. They wet it down and as I said before, they do a great job," Krissel said.

Officials with Triangle Town Center Mall said they are confident the road will be ready by the opening date.


Mark Roberts, Reporter
John Cox, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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