Connector would reduce commute time to RTP

Posted December 9, 2009 6:25 p.m. EST
Updated December 9, 2009 6:42 p.m. EST

— The Regional Transportation Alliance has a new top freeway priority in the Triangle for 2010 that would reduce travel time from Interstate 85 to Research Triangle Park.

The Triangle Connector to Interstate 85 would be the final piece of roadway that would create a stoplight-free connection from U.S. Highway 1 in southwest Wake County to I-85 in Research Triangle Park.

The 1.5-mile Triangle Connector would connect N.C. Highway 147 to U.S. Highway 70.

"It will allow the Triangle region as a whole – Raleigh, Cary, Chapel Hill, Research Triangle Park – to connect to Interstate 85," Joe Milazzo, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance, said.

The stoplight-free route would start at U.S. 1 in southwest Wake County and run along the state's first toll road to Interstate 40, then from I-40 to U.S. 70.

Construction on the toll road is expected to be complete by 2012.

The group also discussed the importance of improving air service out of RTP and the need for a regional transit system.

As for the timing for transit, Milazzo says that depends on the economy. A new transit system will likely require a half-cent sales tax increase, which must be approved by voters.