Toll road construction could begin by mid-July

Posted May 28, 2009 7:28 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2009 11:00 a.m. EDT

— The North Carolina Turnpike Authority says construction could begin on the state's first toll road by mid-July.

The state House passed legislation Thursday allowing the Turnpike Authority to get bond insurance for the N.C. 540 project. The insurance gives the project a AA rating, which is what is needed to raise necessary funds.

Earlier this year, the Turnpike Authority's Board of Governors gave the green light on the 18.8-mile Triangle Expressway in Western Wake County when it approved a bond proposal that allows the Turnpike Authority to seek $1 billion in bonds and a loan with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The Northern Wake Expressway, the first of the three sections of the Triangle Expressway, opened in July 2007 and stretches 2.8 miles from N.C. Highway 54 in Morrisville to N.C. Highway 55 near the Research Triangle Park.

The second leg of the Triangle Expressway, could open as early as 2011. The 3.4-mile stretch, the Triangle Parkway, runs from N.C. Highway 147 in Durham to N.C. Highway 540 in Morrisville.

The 12.6-mile Western Wake Freeway, from N.C. 55 near Research Triangle Park to N.C. 55 between Holly Springs and Apex, could open as the third section by 2012.