Local News

Toll Road May Ease Future Traffic Woes In Triangle

Posted January 18, 2006 6:46 a.m. EST

— Simply put, Interstate 40 can be a nightmare during rush hour. However, the proposed Triangle Parkway would make it so some commuters would never step foot on the interstate.

The four-mile toll road would stretch from the Durham Freeway to a future section of Interstate 540, and possibly onto Morrisville. The project could cost as much as $147 million -- maybe more.

"I think it's going to be a real challenge for the board where we get the money," said David Joyner with the Turnpike Authority.

Members of the Turnpike Authority are conducting a study to see if the six-lane road is worth it. New numbers show if the Triangle Parkway opens in 2010, some 16,000 cars a day would use it. By 2030, that number could be up to 59,000.

Drivers would probably have to shell out $1 to use it. That would generate $28 million in revenue over the next 30 years.

And while the study shows 50 percent of drivers may not even use the connector, backers say congestion is driving the need for pay-as-you-go roads.

"We're not in the business of building toll roads just to build toll roads," said Joyner.

The Triangle Parkway is expected to shave five to 10 minutes off the average commute. And as the Triangle continues to grow and congestion continues to build, the proposed parkway could end up saving commuters even more time.

The parkway is just a proposal at this point. It could be a year or more before the authority decides if it's financially feasible