They keep changing their minds about what boring name to call it, but what matters is that they really do plan to build the final southern and eastern chunks of Raleigh's 540 Outer Loop.
Lately the N.C. Turnpike Authority uses the name Triangle Expressway Southeast Extension to describe a 30-mile tail that will be nearly twice as long as its namesake doggie, the Triangle Expressway toll road now under construction in Research Triangle Park and western Wake County. (Previously it was called a Connector; before that it was labeled as two separate Expressways; and as Freeways.)
Whatever. The occasion for this update is a series of public meetings Sept. 21-23, in which the turnpike authority will talk about its work so far and ask citizens for their comments. See meeting details below.
TriEx is scheduled to open for traffic through RTP in late 2011 and all the way south to Holly Springs in late 2012, as North Carolina's first modern toll road. (Other toll roads are coming down the pike in the next five years in Union, Currituck and Gaston counties.)
SEx (a plausible nickname -- and I bet David Joyner thought of this -- for the Southeast Extension) will run east from Holly Springs to I-40 near Garner, and then north to complete the 540 Outer Loop at Knightdale.
That southern stretch from Holly Springs to Garner will be built first. It will complete a welcome new bypass around Raleigh's south side, making it possible to go from Durham to Clayton (and beyond!) without coming into town to crawl around the Beltline.
Construction is years away, with 2014 the target date for final engineering details and a final financial feasibility study. For now, you can go online to look at maps and an intriguing video that simulates a flyover of the likely SEx route.
While we're bogged down in semantics, we'll have to get used to this:
- The first section of TriEx will be marked with purple-and-white diamond signs that say TOLL 147. This is the Triangle Parkway, and it really is an extension through RTP of the NC 147 Durham Freeway.
Now for next week's SEx workshops:
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Wake Technical Community College
Student Services Building
9101 Fayetteville Road, Raleigh
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Holly Springs High School
5329 Cass Holt Road, Holly Springs
Thursday, September 23, 2010
4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Barwell Road Community Center
3935 Barwell Road, Raleigh