Skip to main content

First Tour of the TriEx in 2010

Adam Prince and I took a Sunday morning tour to check out construction of the Triangle Expressway, NC's first Toll Road. I had not been down to check progress since I first toured the area last fall. The TriEx (as the Turnpike Authority is trying to get potential users to call it) is made up of 2 parts: The Triangle Parkway (an extension of NC 147) and the Western Wake Freeway, an extension of NC 540 from NC 55 north of Apex to the NC 55 Bypass in Holly Springs.
Here's a map to help explain the two parts and to identify the locations where we went on this trip (map excerpt taken from NCTA 2009 Annual Report, p. 17):
We expected to see more progress on the Triangle Parkway than the Western Wake Freeway, but it turns out it was the exact opposite. The contractors (who are working under the name The Raleigh Durham Roadbuilders, very original) started tree cutting and landscaping at the northern end of the Triangle Parkway, starting where it will depart from the existing NC 147:
Above is a photo from the southbound lanes while below is a view going northbound:
The tree cutting and landscaping continues, but only as far as just south of the US EPA complex. Here's a view north from the end of the cutting back toward Hopson Road, which will have the one of the two interchanges on the parkway (the other being for Davis Drive, number 3 in the map above:
Here's a view from the overlook on the other side of the road:
The ground overlooking the above view will be used as part of building a bridge for the road/ parkway intersection. The dimensions of the bridge were marked by stakes like below:
This was on the west side of the Parkway right-of-way, a similar stake was marked on the east side. Here was some of the equipment doing preliminary work on the bridge:
There was no work going on here, in contrast to where we went next, the current end of NC 540 at Exit 66:
Notice the cars parked on the left for contractors doing work even on Sunday.
Now an indulgence:
A closeup of the Exit 66A gore sign. Since I'm partially responsible for the taped over number, and the map shows different interchange numbers, I thought I'd take a photo before 'my exit numbers' were possibly removed.
Now back to the overview of construction progress:
The crane truck seen two photos above. Where this equipment and road closed signs are, is where the groundbreaking took place last fall, not even the potted plants remain. Here's a view beyond the barriers:
Just in case you wanted to see an official sign as who is constructing the parkway:
You can tell their tree cutting is very environmental from the color of the highway and the flower in the middle of the logo (plus you can work on your Spanish).

We thought that there would not be much tree cutting and landscaping work for this part of the Expressway as for the Parkway. Turns out there was more. The clearing proceeds further south, over McCrimmon Parkway, just to the west of Panther Creek High School, and all the way to Carpenter Fire Station Road in Cary (that's just about where the purple NC 540 shield is in the map above, if you're not familiar with the area). We plan to go out again in late March to get the next update on construction. The NCTA still says the Triangle Parkway will be open in 2011.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Thank you for updating us, esp since the news and county don't seem to care to. Really wished they were further along.
Anonymous said…
Let's get some of the stimulus $$$ to build it quicker. We can surely use the 64 to US1 section as soon as possible. Every day I go against the traffic it will be great to see the fuel economy savings as folks avoid the traffic.
Anonymous said…
Well this week April 5-9 they have cleared Kitt Creek/540 to Davis, I imagine Davis to hopason next week for the Triangle parkway.
They are moving fast. Once those crews go in, they clear many acres a day.

Popular posts from this blog

The Central Freeway of San Francisco (US Route 101)

The Central Freeway is a 1.2-mile elevated limited access corridor in the city of San Francisco.  As presently configured the Central Freeway connects from the end of the Bayshore Freeway to Market Street.  The Central Freeway carries the mainline of northbound US Route 101 from the Bayshore Freeway to Mission Street. The Central Freeway has origins with the establishment of Legislative Route Number 223 and is heavily tied to the history of the once proposed Panhandle Freeway.  The Central Freeway between the Bayshore Freeway and Mission Street was completed during 1955.  The corridor was extended to a one-way couplet located at Turk Street and Golden Gate Avenue in 1959 which served to connect US Route 101 to Van Ness Avenue.  The Central Freeway was damaged by the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake and has since been truncated to Market Street.   The Central Freeway as pictured on the blog cover was featured in the May/June 1959 California Highways & Public Works.  The scan below is fro

The Bayshore Freeway (US Route 101)

The Bayshore Freeway is a 56.4-mile component of US Route 101 located in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The Bayshore Freeway connects the southern extent of San Jose to the Central Freeway in the city of San Francisco.  The corridor was originally developed as the Bayshore Highway between 1923 and 1937.  The Bayshore Highway would serve briefly as mainline US Route 101 before being reassigned as US Route 101 Bypass in 1938.  Conceptually the designs for the Bayshore Freeway originated in 1940 but construction would be delayed until 1947.  The Bayshore Freeway was completed by 1962 and became mainline US Route 101 during June 1963.   Part 1; the history of the Bayshore Freeway Prior the creation of the Bayshore Highway corridor the most commonly used highway between San Jose and San Francisco was El Camino Real (alternatively known as Peninsula Highway).  The  American El Camino Real  began as an early example of a signed as an Auto Trail starting in 1906.  The era of State Highway Mainte

Former US Route 101 and California State Route 41 through Paso Robles

Paso Robles is a city located on the Salinas River of San Luis Obispo County, California.  As originally configured the surface alignments of US Route 101 and California State Route 41 converged in downtown Paso Robles.  US Route 101 originally was aligned through Paso Robles via Spring Street.  California State Route 41 entered the City of Paso Robles via Union Road and 13th Street where it intersected US Route 101 at Spring Street.  US Route 101 and California State Route 41 departed Paso Robles southbound via a multiplex which split near Templeton.   Pictured above is the cover of the September/October 1957 California Highways & Public Works which features construction of the Paso Robles Bypass.  Pictured below is the 1935 Division of Highways Map of San Luis Obispo County which depicts US Route 101 and California State Route 41 intersecting in downtown Paso Robles.   Part 1; the history of US Route 101 and California State Route 41 in Paso Robles Paso Robles ("Pass of the