Skip to main content

Tour of the Triangle Expressway

On Saturday, December 10th, I took a drive to check out the newly opened NC 147 Extension and what will become on Janurary 3rd - the state's first toll road.

Of course, the entire photoset from the trip is on flickr.

066

Right before Thanksgiving, a number of us got a sneak peak at the new highway during the Expressway Trot, a 5k that went from Hopson Road to Interstate 40 and back.  Obviously, this time I was driving on it, and not running.  So let's take a look at some of the signs approaching NC 147 from I-40 and NC 147 itself.

The VMS's on I-40 in both directions announced the new highway's opening.

006

The overheads on I-40 at I-540 have been updated for the eventual extension of the Triangle Expressway and NC 540.  Some of the signs are quite gigantic.

007

The signs at NC 147 have been updated as well.  Any of the signs for the entrance to the toll road read: "NC Quick Pass" or "Bill by Mail".  Note the Exit 278 sign.  It should read "NC 55 / TO NC 54"

012

The Exit Gore on I-40 for NC 147 South read "TOLL EXIT" which I had not seen before, but I am guessing is MUTCD standard.

017

And here we are on NC 147 South TOLL.

023

This overhead is quite the size.  It's for the directional Y interchange where NC 147 meets NC 540.  Note a few things on the sign.  One NC 540 changes from East/West here (I-540 is also signed as East/West) to North/South. Also, there's space for when NC 540 becomes Toll and eventually for TO US 1 South and possibly US 64.

028

When you get to Exit 1 - you will notice ghost ramps stubs for a four lane highway.  This will one day head to Cary and meet the McKrimmon Parkway.

033

Now we're headed North on NC 540 approaching the new Exit 67 for NC 147 and the Triangle Expressway.

042

Exit 67 had previously led to Davis Drive at Kit Creek Road.  Now, Exit 67 is a high powered, free-flowing, fast moving, expressway to expressway interchange. (If I said freeway, it would be misleading since both roads will soon be tolled.)

Speaking of tolling, here's what the all electronic toll booths look like.  This is where NC 540 will transition from free to toll and vice versa.  These toll booths will remain inactive to later in 2012 when the TriEx and NC 540 is extended southwards towards Apex and eventually Holly Springs.

046

Now I am on NC 540 West/South approaching NC 147.

052

There wasn't a lot of traffic this Saturday afternoon.  It was about 12:30 when I took this photo.  It'll be interesting to see if this is what the highway will look like once the tolls begin on January 3rd.

057

An interesting oddity on NC 147, the Davis Drive/Hopson Road Interchange has a different exit number in each direction.  Southbound it is Exit 3 - and Hopson Road is the first access point.  Northbound is Exit 2 with Davis Drive it's first access point.  Here is the Exit 2 off ramp at Hopson Road.  Davis Drive traffic wanting to reach NC 147 North would also see this sign.

060

Here is an example of what the toll schedule signs look like.

064

Here's an example of the milemarkers that will be on the Triangle Expressway.  Really nothing different than what is already used.

068

One of the nicer signs on the highway is this guide sign 'END TOLL 147'/'BEGIN NC 147' combination located where NC 147 meets I-40 (Exit 5).

069

Finally, when driving for the second time down NC 147 Toll, I took a quick glimpse at where NC 147 had jogged southwest towards TW Alexander Drive.

078

I had noticed the back of the old I-40 Exits 5A-B guide sign that stood at the then beginning of NC 147.  The shot is zoomed in as the old road is fenced off.  NC 147 had ended at a stoplight at TW Alexander, which is now removed.  Here is what it looks like today.

080

I am sure it will be a matter of time until the guide sign and pavement is removed.

Overall, I like the new road.  The signs are pretty sharp and have some new changes that we're not used to seeing here in North Carolina.  I'm looking forward to seeing the NC 540 extension when it opens later in 2012.



Comments

Charlie said…
Not that I'm planning to be anywhere near the Triangle in the near future, but is NC Quick Pass E-ZPass compatible? I know Florida's SunPass isn't, but Virginia uses E-ZPass.
Bob Malme said…
Glad they kept 'my' exit numbers on 540. Too bad they didn't go with purple signs like the first maps hinted at. With all the 'toll' signage they put up, I'm surprised a small yellow banner didn't find its way on top of the mileposts.
As for compatibility with E-ZPass, not yet. The NC legislature has to pass privacy protection laws for motorists using the transponders that is identical to those in all other E-ZPass states first.
Laura said…
On Thursday at 4:30 p.m., there was the same amount of traffic that you saw on Saturday. Will definitely be interesting to see what it looks like with the toll. If it looks like that all the time, I'll happily pay cash$money to use it to bypass all the traffic on 40 from NC 147 to 540. :-)

BTW, nice writeup and good pictures!
Brian said…
If there's only controlled access through interchanges, it isn't misleading at all to call the TriEx a freeway, as that's how that word is defined (not whether the road carries tolls).

Popular posts from this blog

The Dummy Lights of New York

  A relic of the early days of motoring, dummy lights were traffic lights  that  were  placed  in the middle of a street intersection. In those early days, traffic shuffled through busy intersections with the help of a police officer who stood on top of a pedestal. As technology improved and electric traffic signals became commonplace, they were also  originally  positioned on a platform at the center of the intersection. Those traffic signals became known as  " dummy lights "  and were common until  traffic lights were moved  onto wires and poles that crossed above the intersection.  In New York State, only a handful of these dummy lights exist. The dummy lights  are found  in the Hudson Valley towns of Beacon and Croton-on-Hudson, plus there is an ongoing tug of war in Canajoharie in the Mohawk Valley, where their dummy light has been knocked down and replaced a few times. The dummy light in Canajoharie is currently out of commission, but popular demand has caused the dummy

Colorado Road (Fresno County)

Colorado Road is a rural highway located in San Joaquin Valley of western Fresno County.  Colorado Road services the city of San Joaquin in addition the unincorporated communities of Helm and Tranquility.  Colorado Road was constructed between 1910 and 1912 as a frontage road of the Hanford & Summit Lake Railway.  The roadway begins at California State Route 145 near Helm and terminates to the west at James Road in Tranquility.   Part 1; the history of Colorado Road Colorado Road was constructed as frontage road connecting the sidings of the Hanford & Summit Lake Railway.  The Hanford & Summit Lake Railway spanned from South Pacific Railroad West Side Line at Ingle junction southeast to the Coalinga Branch at Armona.  The Hanford & Summit Lake Railway broke ground during August 1910 and was complete by April 1912. The Hanford & Summit Lake Railway established numerous new sidings.  From Ingle the sidings of the line were Tranquility, Graham, San Joaquin, Caldwell, H

Madera County Road 400 and the 1882-1886 Yosemite Stage Road

Madera County Road 400 is an approximately twenty-four-mile roadway following the course of the Fresno River in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Road 400 begins at California State Route 145 near Madera and terminates to the north at Road 415 near Coarsegold.  Traditionally Road 400 was known as "River Road" prior to Madera County dropping naming conventions on county highways.  Road 400 was part of the original Yosemite Stage Route by the Washburn Brothers which began in 1882.  The Yosemite Stage Route would be realigned to the west in 1886 along what is now Road 600 to a rail terminus in Raymond.  Parts of Road 400 were realigned in 1974 to make way for the Hensley Lake Reservoir.  Part 1; the history of Madera County Road 400 Road 400 is historically tied to the Wawona Road and Hotel.  The Wawona Hotel is located near the Mariposa Grove in the modern southern extent of Yosemite National Park.   The origins of the Wawona Road are tied to the Wawona Hotel but it does predate th