Stretch of I-540 to Cut Off Traffic in North Raleigh Neighborhood
Posted March 12, 2000 6:00 a.m. EST
RALEIGH — Interstate 540, the Northern Wake Expressway, is designed to help traffic flow during rush hours. But building a road as big as this one is causing some big growing pains.
For example, the new highway will bring traffic to a permanent stop in one North Raleigh neighborhood.
A stretch of I-540 cuts right through the Carrington Woods neighborhood. This week, crews will permanently close Colesbury Drive to bring the highway through.
Progress will cut the neighborhood in half, butDepartment of Transportationengineers say they will try to keep residents happy.
The DOT plans to build a pedestrian bridge to keep the neighborhood connected by foot traffic.
"Well, it's progress. You expect this kind of thing, and everybody around here has known about it, I think, for a long time," says resident Harrison Dew.
They may know about it, but it does not ease the pain for many residents. Some complain that the free flow of neighborhood traffic is taking a back seat to the new highway.
The DOT has heard the complaints and defends its actions.
"The road's going be a benefit for a whole lot of people that really need it to access RTP, I-40, the airport. You [have to] look at the big picture, and yes, it's going to inconvenience some people, but I guess the greater good of the whole is going to be served here," says DOT resident engineer Mark Craig.
One thing that may help keep some neighbors happy are concrete barriers that will go up on both sides of the road in an effort to deflect road noise. Similar barriers, 15 to 20 feet high, are now under construction on a section of I-540 near Six Forks Road.
Raleigh residents have anticipated the impact from I-540 for years, now many are beginning to feel it.
The new pedestrian bridge in Carrington Woods will cost $1.2 million and is scheduled for completion by March 2002.