Southern Wake County Continues To Wait For I-540 Project

Posted May 17, 2005 7:14 a.m. EDT

— Interstate 540 is supposed to continue from Highway 55 in Research Triangle Park to Holly Springs, but the latest plan pushes construction back at least five years. Residents and officials in Fuquay-Varina, Apex and Holly Springs are not happy.

"We're not going to wait," said Holly Springs Mayor Dick Sears. "We need (Interstate) 540 moved back up where it was, where it should be."

Sears said if there was some sort of disaster at Shearon Harris nuclear power plant or a natural disaster like a flood or hurricane, two-lane Holly Springs Road is the emergency evacuation route out of Holly Springs. With 15,000 people, Sears said no one could get out of town.

Public safety is the latest volley fired at the state for a lack of highway funding. Some blame legislators for raiding the Highway Trust Fund. Others say areas like Wake County are hurt by a recent funding formula adjustment.

Some lawmakers believe Holly Springs needs to get in line.

"We've had road after road after road that was supposed to have been done this year that's been put on hold, and they say they have got to leave them that way until funds are available," said Rep. Phillip Frye, R-Mitchell.

Mayors from around Wake County met Monday to discuss the state's plan and decide what their next move should be.