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NCDOT plans East Wake Highway Improvements

Tired of the morning backups on US 64 West between Zebulon and Wendell in the morning?  Or the long queue to get on and off the highway at Smithfield Road?  The next decade may see some traffic relief in Eastern Wake County as NCDOT tries to keep up with the steady growth here.  Two projects have scored significantly high in regards to statewide mobility as they prepare their 2020-2029 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program listing.  Both projects concern the Future Interstate 87/US 64/264 freeway.

The first is the eventual widening to six lanes and upgrading of the US 64/264 Freeway from Rolesville Road (Exit 430) to the 64/264 split in Zebulon (Exit 436).   The nearly seven mile project scored the highest of all NCDOT Division 5 (Durham, Franklin, Granville, Person, Vance, Wake and Warren Counties).  The anticipated cost is just under $60 million and is programmed to begin in 2026.  This project will also most likely extend the Interstate 87 designation to Zebulon.

Also scoring high is improvements to the Smithfield Road (Exit 425) interchange.  This project scored fifth highest in the district and would see the diamond interchange converted into what is known as a Diverging Diamond Interchange or DDI.  This interchange, which has drivers briefly on the wrong side of the road, has grown in popularity within the state with over one dozen currently in use or planned.

Below is a video from NCDOT that explains how a Diverging Diamond Interchange works.



This project is expected to cost nearly $7.5 million and is also planned for a 2026 construction date.

Please keep in mind that this is currently a preliminary score and construction date.  NCDOT is taking public comment on over 2,100 highway projects as they prepare their construction plans for the next decade.  The comment period runs from April 30 to June 8th.

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