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I-540 Access Ramp At Falls Of Neuse Closed From 9-4 Wednesday

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The first shovel of dirt was turned in November 1999 and in one week, state Department of Transportation officials said they will open the much-anticipated section of Interstate 540 between Falls of Neuse and Capital Boulevard. Many commuters said they are excited about the new section.

"This is the worst intersection in town. This backs up both ways forever and I live right off Capital Boulevard and I have to cut through on Durant [Road]. Durant is even worse than this, so I can't wait," motorist Jay Porter said.

"We need this bypass because there's going to be a lot of future traffic here and they've got to anticipate that, so I think this is tax money well-spent," motorist Bob Silver said.

While some drivers are happy about the opening of the new section of I-540, there is some bad news. From 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Wednesday, DOT crews are blocking access to I-540 from Falls of Neuse to put the final layer of pavement on the ramps.

Even though crews said they are hustling to make deadline, they said quality and safety has always been in their minds.

"The department's made a preliminary inspection of safety items -- guardrails, things of that nature. We're not going to open the road with inferior products. We're just not going to do that, not risk liability," DOT resident engineer Bob Shultes said.

DOT officials said some road signs may not be ready by the Aug. 13 opening date. Flashing message signs will be used until permanent signs are in place.


Mark Roberts, Reporter
Edward Wilson, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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