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Turnpike Authority awards contracts for state toll road

Posted July 29, 2009 3:53 p.m. EDT
Updated July 30, 2009 5:51 p.m. EDT

— The North Carolina Turnpike Authority has awarded contracts to build the state's first toll road, the organization said Wednesday, and ground on the remaining sections of the project will break next month.

“This begins a new era for funding transportation projects in North Carolina,” said David Joyner, the Turnpike Authority's executive director. "We are excited about bringing this project to the citizens of our state decades sooner than otherwise possible using conventional funds.”

Preparation for construction will begin immediately, and construction will begin next month.

The Turnpike Authority received a $386 million federal loan earlier this month and sold $624 million in bonds to finance the 18.8-mile Triangle Expressway, which runs from the N.C. Highway 55 Bypass in Holly Springs to Interstate 40 at N.C. Highway 147.

Construction on the two remaining sections of the three-part Triangle Expressway, which will use an electronic, no-stop, cashless toll system, could be complete as early as 2012.

The 3.4-mile Triangle Parkway, which runs from N.C. 147 in Durham to N.C. Highway 540 in Morrisville, could open as early as 2011. S. T. Wooten Corp., of Wilson, bid $135.4 million for the project.

The Raleigh/Durham Road Builders bid more than $446 million for the Western Wake Freeway, which runs 12.6 miles from N.C. Highway 55 near Research Triangle Park to N.C. 55 between Holly Springs and Apex. It could open by 2012.

The Northern Wake Expressway is already open. It stretches 2.8 miles from N.C. Highway 54 in Morrisville to N.C. 55 near the Research Triangle Park.