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Turnpike Authority receives $386M loan for state's first toll road

Posted July 13, 2009 11:05 a.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2009 11:48 a.m. EDT

— The North Carolina Turnpike Authority will receive a $386 million loan from the federal government to help pay for North Carolina's first toll road.

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Monday that the loan – under the department's Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act – will help finance the rest of construction on the 18.8-mile Triangle Expressway in western Wake County.

The TIFIA loan program makes it possible to finance highway projects with flexible repayment terms.

The Turnpike Authority will toll the new highway to pay back the loan. It is also expected to sell more than $600 million in bonds to complete the project's total cost of more than $1.1 billion.

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, the Triangle Parkway, could open as early as 2011. The 3.4-mile stretch 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.

Construction on the Tirangle Parkway and Western Wake Freeway could begin in August.