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Raleigh council opposes proposed 540 expansion route

Posted January 4, 2011 9:14 p.m. EST
Updated January 4, 2011 10:55 p.m. EST

— After an outcry from concerned citizens, the Raleigh City Council agreed Tuesday to ask that a proposed route for the southeastern extension of Interstate 540 be removed from consideration.

The route, known as the Tan Corridor, would run through a rural area between Clayton and Knightdale.

The North Carolina Turnpike Authority proposed the route in September after they were asked to reconsider another route which would have impacted land owned by Wake County and the city of Raleigh.

Opponents of the tan route spoke before the city council on Tuesday, saying the corridor will impact numerous neighborhoods, having a big impact on homes and a church.

“It’s impacting people emotionally, mentally and financially,” neighbor Frann Sarpolus said.

Among the more passionate pleas, Deacon Ronald Penny told the council the proposed route would run right through his 137-year-old congregation.

“Your silence in this matter displaces communities, destroys our church and disrupts our heritage,” Penny said.

The city council agreed to write a letter asking the Turnpike Authority to drop the Tan Corridor from consideration. Wake County Commissioners have already sent a similar letter.

The Southeast Extension will extend the Triangle Expressway – currently under construction in southeast Wake County and part of northeast Johnston County – and complete the loop around Raleigh.

The Turnpike Authority expects to decide on a route by mid-2012, though the ultimate decision won't be made until the end of 2013.

Construction could begin as early as 2018.