Local News

Knightdale Connector To Link I-540, U.S. 64 Bypass

Posted November 5, 2002 4:54 a.m. EST

— Plans for Interstate 540 and the U.S. 64 Bypass provided great hope for drivers locked up in the daily traffic jams in eastern Wake County.

There was one big problem, though: there was no plan to link the two roads. Now, there is.

Wake County's transportation planning group rated U.S. 64 as the worst traffic bottleneck in the Triangle. Relief for all those "stacked and backed" commuters was supposed to come from I-540 and the 64 Bypass that is now plowing through the woods.

As strange as it sounded to many commuters, there was no plan to connect I-540 and the 64 Bypass until now. A 2-mile piece of road, called the Knightdale connector, will connect I-540 and the 64 Bypass.

The connector will start at the Knightdale bypass. It runs to the west of Clifton Road. As it comes through the woods to the north, the connector will cut through the middle of the Planter's Walk subdivision. As it moves its way up, it will end at U.S. 64, tying in at I-540.

"What this will accomplish is that network of freeways to relieve the congestion, inconvenience and delays that are occuring out there every morning and every afternoon," said Len Sanderson, state highway administrator.

Plans for I-540 were drawn in 1989, plans for the 64 Bypass came later and the two plans did not meet. Pushed by commuter complaints, the Legislature cleared the way to link the two roads. Once the matter passes the state Board of Transportation, planners are hopeful they can break ground on the Knightdale connector this summer.

The 64 Bypass should be open to traffic by November 2004. If all goes well, the Knightdale connector to the Outer Loop will be done a year later, according to planners.