Public Can Learn More About Proposed Wake Toll Roads

Posted February 8, 2007 7:22 a.m. EST
Updated February 8, 2007 7:50 a.m. EST

— Residents can get input Thursday on three highways in western Wake County, which could become the state's first toll roads.

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.

The plan set forth by the North Carolina Turnpike Authority is to toll the three roads all at the same time. Turnpike officials said the benefit to having toll roads is that it gets the roads built two to three times faster.

"We hope to have the whole corridor open by no later than 2011," said Steve Dewitt, of the North Carolina Turnpike Authority.

However, some mayors in western Wake County say the current plan is not fair. Drivers on the western part of I-540 would have to pay while the other sections, open now, are free.

"The Outer Loop is nearly two-thirds finished and to complete the rest of it with a tolling mechanism, I find, is certainly not equitable to western Wake County and it's certainly not good public policy," said Apex Mayor Keith Weatherly.

The mayors in western part of Wake County must approve the plan before it can go forward. That vote is expected this summer. Residents can find out more about the toll road plan from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Apex High School cafeteria at 1501 Laura Duncan Road.