State seeks input on extending Wake County toll road

Posted September 9, 2010 5:25 p.m. EDT
Updated September 9, 2010 6:33 p.m. EDT

— The North Carolina Turnpike Authority will hold three public meetings this month to gather public input on extending the Triangle Expressway from Holly Springs to Knightdale.

The $1 billion Triangle Expressway will stretch almost 19 miles, from the intersection of the Durham Freeway and Interstate 40 to N.C. Highway 55 in Holly Springs. Construction began last summer and is expected to last two to three years.

The Turnpike Authority is already considering a "southeast extension" to the toll road, which would extend the highway to the U.S. Highway 64/264 Bypass in Knightdale, where it would connect to Interstate 540 and complete a loop around much of Wake County.

Several possible corridors for the highway are already under consideration, officials said, and the project would include improvements to several existing roads.

One interchange of the extended highway would likely be located near Wake Technical Community College on U.S. Highway 401 south of Raleigh, but Wake Tech students aren't eager to use a toll road to escape rush-hour traffic.

"I would say no toll. I'd say have it an open road for everybody," student Olivia Cranford said Thursday. "I don't really think that's fair, having to pay to come to school just to use that one road. That would be really inconvenient."

"A toll road? I would hate that very much," student Faith Park said.

"If it wasn't a toll road, I would take it," student Amelia Partin said.

The Turnpike Authority meetings will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Wake Tech Student Services Building, from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 22 at Holly Springs High School and from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 23 at Barwell Road Community Center.