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Some Homeowners Believe Next I-540 Section Will Disrupt Way-Of-Life

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WAKE COUNTY, N.C. — The Triangle's biggest road project is up for review again by the state Board of Transportation. This week, the board is expected to approve the next Interstate 540 section on the southwestern side of the loop, which may come to the dismay of some homeowners.

Jesse Chavis moved to a quiet spot on Highway 54 near Morrisville almost 25 years ago, but that may soon change. He said a proposed I-540 exit ramp will pass so close to his house, that he and seven of his neighbors may have to go.

"What can you say? We can't stop progress," he said. "Everybody's wanting to try to stay and wanting to stay, but they can't. We got to go. Everybody on this road has got to leave here, so we are in the process of looking."

The DOT said it will pay all the landowners fair market value for their homes and property. Engineers said thousands of drivers will cash in by pushing I-540 south of I-40.

Chavis said he gets choked up when he looks at the tree he planted with his wife back in 1970. She died in 2000 and the tree will be gone when the bulldozers come in May.

The outer loop section from I-40 to Highway 55 is scheduled for completion in August 2007. The section from Capital Boulevard to Highway 64 should be ready by April 2006.


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