View 540 Loop @ Davis Drive in a larger map
Call it planned obsolescence: State roadbuilders knew in July 2007 -- when they opened the NC 540 section of Raleigh's Outer Loop through southern Research Triangle Park -- that the Kitt Creek Road / Davis Drive interchange would not last for long.
At least they were pretty sure. So it wasn't really a surprise when NCDOT announced today that the interchange will close for good on June 1, a bit less than three years after it opened.
Workers at Cisco Systems and NetApp are among the big beneficiaries of this intherchange, because it delivers them witthin one or two stoplights of their parking lots. It links NC 540 to Kitt Creek Road a short hop from Kitt Creek's intersection with Davis.
After June 1 they'll have longer drives to the office, getting off NC 540 either north of Davis at NC 54 or south of it, at NC 55.
DOT planners figured for decades that the Triangle Parkway probably would be built through RTP eventually as an extension of the NC 147 Durham Freeway south from I-40, coming out near the spot where NC 540 crosses Davis Drive now.
But nobody could be certain that would actually happen until the NC Turnpike Authority finally worked out the financing and started construction in 2009 of the Triangle Parkway, which is scheduled to open in late 2011. The new toll road's interchange with Davis Drive will partly overlap the one there now.
DOT folks were so certain that Triangle Parkway eventually would be built that when they built the NC 540 / Kitt Creek interchange, they also did some of the preliminary earth-moving work for the Davis Drive interchange that will replace it.