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An I-540 Preview

With the next segment of I-540 about a month away from opening to traffic, I took a small ride out to Western Wake County and took a look at the highway before it opens.

Note: The official exit number is within the parentheses. An error in signing plans caused the exit numbers to be 20 miles off.

Exit 47 (67): NC 55
This exit will be a six ramp partial cloverleaf interchange. This will be the current end of I-540.

Approaching I-540 from NC 55 West in Morrisville.

This time I am on NC 55 East at the interchange. I-540 will include the 'Future' designation. This is because of a rule that says Interstates must end at a National Highway System (NHS) route. NC 55 obviously is not a part of the NHS.

Exit 49 (69): Davis Drive/Research Triangle Park

This exit is an expansive Y-shaped interchange linking I-540 to the heart of Research Triangle Park. The interchange flows into Kit Creek Drive which provides quick access to Davis Drive.

Kit Creek Drive ends as the ramps to/from I-540 begin/end.

A wide view of the expansive I-540/Davis Drive Interchange.

Folks leaving RTP to get on I-540 will come to this split on the on ramp. What's interesting is that the 'Future' tab is missing here.

A full 22x zoom looks over a mile north/east on I-540 towards NC 54 and I-40. I didn't have my tripod with me or the Future East 540 shield that sits behind the 1/2 mile guide sign for NC 54 would be clearer.

Exit 50 (70): NC 54

The last of the three new exits for I-540 will be for NC 54 just on the Northeastern edge of RTP. Unlike the interchange at NC 55, signs aren't up for I-540 nor is the highway opened to four lanes.

Heading east on NC 54 approaching the I-540 interchange. The new travel lanes on the right aren't quite ready for NC 54 East to move onto them. The interchange with I-540 will be a partial cloverleaf known as a folded diamond.

Closed off and unpaved ramps to/from I-540 East at NC 54.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Nice pics! Any sign that they have started land purchase for the next part of the western leg?
Adam said…
There hasn't been any, yet. Once and if the NCTA gets funding from the General Assembly, the land purchases on the Western Wake Expressway will begin.

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