Skip to main content

Want more toll roads? - NCTA begins planning stage for Southern Wake Expressway

The North Carolina Turnpike Authority is just entering the planning stages for the last 30 miles of the Raleigh Outer Loop (NC 540/I-540). The last 30 miles consists of 'two' freeways - the Southern Wake Expressway and the Eastern Wake Expressway.

Story in the Raleigh News & Observer.

The Southern Wake would run from NC 55 in Holly Springs eastwards to I-40 in Garner (most likely near or at where the US 70 Clayton Bypass begins). The Eastern Wake runs from I-40 in Garner northwards to where I-540 currently ends at US 264 in Knightdale.

Don't worry - there's a lot to be done - any decision on what parts of the road to build first, how and where it will end up going won't be decided until 2011.

Currently, the highway is in the planning stages and the NCTA is looking at it as a possible future toll road project. The NCTA will need to decide if it is a viable toll road, in addition to getting approval to toll the highway from the state legislature.

There has been no right of way reserved for either highway so a specific route has yet to be determined. The most curious part will be the decision on where the roads would intersect with I-40 near Garner. Will it meet I-40 at Exit 309, which is where the Clayton Bypass begins/ends? That would be one interesting interchange.

Plus, will anyone want to pay tolls? If the road isn't tolled - we may not see either road built for decades. The success or lack their of on the under construction Triangle Expressway and other proposed toll projects will certainly influence the public and the state legislature that will ultimately approve any tolls on this highway.

And finally, and admittedly cynically, if in 2011 this highway is approved - and construction begins in and around 2012 or 2013 - can you imagine the cries of 'FOUL' by those in Charlotte, who would see Raleigh's entire loop construction begin and end within the time it took to complete their outer loop? I'd be willing to put good money on saying they certainly would.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Kancamagus Highway (NH 112 through the White Mountains of New Hampshire)

The Kancamagus Highway is a portion of NH 112 spanning from Conway to Lincoln through the scenic White Mountains of New Hampshire. Locally known as the "Kanc", the 34.5-mile drive is a recognized National Scenic Byway, offering travelers an abundance of history and spectacular beauty in addition to being considered one of the best fall foliage viewing areas in the world. The road opened up one of the last unconquered wilderness areas in New Hampshire, a region that the 1850 state Gazetteer called "unfit for human habitation." The two lane highway links the valleys of the Merrimack, Pemigewasset and Saco rivers, crossing over Kancamagus Pass at 2,855 feet in elevation, winding through some of the most difficult and gorgeous terrain in the state. A number of scenic vistas are found along the way offering remarkable views of the surrounding White Mountains, Swift River, Lower Falls and Rocky Gorge. You will not find services through much of the drive, until you get to

Ghost Town Tuesday; Transylvania, Louisiana

Back in 2014 I found myself returning home to Florida from Hot Springs National Park.  While passing through East Carroll Parish in Louisiana on US Route 65 I noticed an abandoned school on the side of the highway in a community called Transylvania. Supposedly Transylvania was founded in the early 19th century and was named after the University of the same name in Kentucky.  Supposedly Transylvania has about 700 residents according to the 2000 Census but you wouldn't know it from the total lack of occupied structures.  The earliest map reference I can find showing Transylvania present in East Carroll Parish is from 1878. 1878 Louisiana State Map I really can't find too much substantive information regarding the Transylvania Elementary School but the construction is likely Pre-World War II.  Supposedly the Transylvania Elementary School was abandoned in the late 20th Century and was open to vandals until the property was purchased in 2014. Article Regarding the Transy

I-93 Sign Replacement Project Update

Decided to beat the Memorial Day rush and traveled up I-93 north of Boston Wednesday afternoon to check out the progress of the two sign replacement projects. Based on webcam images, I new some signs had been replaced at the southern and northern end of the Somerville to Exit 38 segment. Turns out signage has been updated northbound for Exit 28 (MA 28/38), the first sign for Exit 31 (MA 16) (I guess taking advantage of MassDOT closing I-93 between Exits 20 and 28 for Big Dig Tunnel maintenance a couple nights a month) and for Exits 34 to 38. A photographic summary starts with the first re-signed exit: This is the second overhead assembly. The signs are mounted on the previously existing overhead supports that go back to the opening of the lower and upper deck portions of I-93 in the early 1970's. I don't know about using the left hand side simply for an auxiliary sign for the exit, but there isn't much room to place it elsewhere. The next interchange that  has had