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

Horace Wilkinson Bridge (Baton Rouge, LA)

Standing tall across from downtown Baton Rouge, the Horace Wilkinson Bridge carries Interstate 10 across the lower Mississippi River between West Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parishes. Unusually, the bridge is actually named for three separate people; three generations of Horace Wilkinsons who served in the Louisiana State Legislature over a combined period of 54 years. Constructed in the 1960s and opened to traffic in 1968, this is one of the largest steel bridges on the lower Mississippi. It’s also the tallest bridge across the Mississippi, with its roadway reaching 175 ft at the center span. Baton Rouge is the northernmost city on the river where deep-water, ocean-going vessels can operate. As a result, this bridge is the northernmost bridge on the river of truly gigantic proportions. Altogether, the bridge is nearly 2 ½ miles long and its massive truss superstructure is 4,550 ft long with a center main truss span of 1,235 ft. The Horace Wilkinson Bridge is one of the largest

Sunshine Bridge (Donaldsonville, LA)

Located about halfway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans in southern Louisiana, the Sunshine Bridge spans the lower Mississippi River near the city of Donaldsonville as part of the longer Louisiana Highway 70 corridor, which connects Interstate 10 and Airline Highway (US 61) with US 90 in Morgan City. In the years following World War II, the only bridges across the lower Mississippi River in Louisiana were located in the area of the state’s two largest cities – Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Postwar agricultural and industrial development along the river in this region led to the planning of a series of infrastructure projects in southern Louisiana that were aimed at spurring this development and modernization of the Delta region. One of these projects was known as the Acadian Thruway and was developed in the 1950s as a toll road intended to connect greater New Orleans with Lafayette and points west while providing a high-speed bypass of the Baton Rouge metro area. The Thruway, which

Natchez-Vidalia Bridge (Natchez, MS)

  Located about halfway between Baton Rouge and Vicksburg near the city of Natchez, the Natchez-Vidalia Bridge crosses the lower Mississippi River between southwest Mississippi and northeastern Louisiana at the city of Vidalia. This river crossing is a dual span, which creates an interesting visual effect that is atypical on the Mississippi River in general. Construction on the original bridge took place in the late 1930s in conjunction with a much larger parallel effort by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to strengthen the area’s flood protection and levee system along the Mississippi River. One of the more ambitious aspects of this plan was to relocate the city of Vidalia to a location of higher ground about one mile downriver from the original settlement. The redirection of the river through the Natchez Gorge (which necessitated the relocation of the town) and the reconstruction of the river’s levee system in the area were undertaken in the aftermath of the Great Flood of 1927, wh