Traffic

Toll-testing continues on N.C. 540

Posted August 6, 2010 6:00 p.m. EDT
Updated August 6, 2010 7:43 p.m. EDT

— The North Carolina Turnpike Authority has been testing technology that will be used to charge motorists driving on the state's first toll road.

The cashless system involves two options for drivers – one called N.C. Quick Pass, which uses a vehicle transponder and infrared technology, and another that uses video cameras to capture license plate numbers.

Tolls are still undetermined, but drivers will likely be charged anywhere from 12 to 15 cents per mile, or higher, depending on which option they choose.

In May, the Turnpike Authority announced it would be testing four traffic cameras at different spots along the interstate for the purpose of configuring the cameras to accurately identify license plate numbers.

The testing is expected to continue until the three-part, 18.8-mile toll road, called the Triangle Expressway, opens in late 2011.

Once the road is open to traffic, permanent cameras will capture license plate numbers for billing purposes.

When complete in 2012, the Triangle Expressway will stretch from the N.C. 55 Bypass near Holly Springs to Interstate 40 at N.C. 147 in Wake and Durham counties.

The first section – N.C. 540 between N.C. Highway 54 in Morrisville and N.C. Highway 55 near Research Triangle Park – opened two years ago and is called the Northern Wake Expressway. Driver have been using it toll-free since it opened

The second section, a 3.4-mile stretch called the Triangle Parkway, will open next year and run from N.C. Highway 147 in Durham to N.C. 540 in Morrisville.

The 12.6-mile Western Wake Freeway, the third part of the Triangle Expressway, is expected to be complete in 2012 and will run from N.C. 55 in Cary to N.C. 55 in Holly Springs.