Local News

Wake County Highways Could Be State's First Toll Roads

Posted February 5, 2007 9:03 p.m. EST

— Three highways in western Wake County could become the state's first toll roads under the current plan of the North Carolina Turnpike Authority.

The three roadways -- the Triangle Parkway, the Western Wake Parkway and part of Interstate 540 from N.C. Highway 54 to N.C. 55 -- would all connect.

Triangle Parkway extends N.C. Highway 147 3.5 miles from Interstate 40 in Durham County to Interstate 540 in Wake County. The Western Wake Parkway extends from I-540 from N.C. Highway 55 south of Morrisville to N.C. 55 south of Apex.

Under the plan, parts of I-540 would be free of charge, but drivers would have to pay on future sections.

Toll backers say they can ease the pain of paying with modern conveniences such as a sticker tag or a transponder where motorists can pass the toll plaza at highway speed.

"We are on track if all things go together, and so far, they are," said Steve DeWitt with the Turnpike Authority. "We're on a very fast track to get the projects under construction, and we hope to have the whole corridor of three highways open by no later than 2011."

State toll-road legislation says a majority of the mayors of Morrisville, Cary, Holly Springs, Fuquay-Varina and Apex must approve the toll road plan for it the Turnpike Authority's plan to proceed.

That vote is expected this summer.

The public can find out more information about the Turnpike Authority's plan at a public meeting on Feb. 8 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Apex High School cafeteria at 1501 Laura Duncan Road in Apex.