Red is dead, and Orange may be passé. Consultants hired by Garner, the Regional Transportation Alliance and the regional planning agency CAMPO have redecorated the Triangle Expressway / 540 Outer Loop map with two new route colors: Lilac and Plum (see 5/23/12 story and 5/22/12 Road Worrier column with reader comments).
Appended to this blog post you can find two new documents: the Turnpike Authority's May 17 letter to the Federal Highway Administration, which includes the Regional Tranpsortation Alliance's Lilac-Plum update, and a large map showing where the Lilac and Plum routes would go. [Note to jittery property owners: as far as I know, no surveyors have yet been in the field to determine which homes and properties would be affected. This is very preliminary work. At any rate, all these corridors are marked on the map as 1000-foot-wide swaths, and that's four or five times as wide as the actual roadway would be.]
The Plum Route is a short spur that would shift part of the six-lane toll road farther south before it meets Interstate 40. But the biggest factor added to the mix now is the Lilac Route. It runs partly south and mostly north of the Orange Route, and it is said to cause less environmental harm as it crosses the sensitive Swift Creek watershed.
P.S.: Apologies to readers of the print edition for a pagination error that made Tuesday's Road Worrier hard to read. The second and third legs of type were transposed somehow, so the sentence that began at the bottom of the first column was finished at the top of the third column. (The online version of Road Worrier did not have this problem.)
Newspapers used to make this mistake in the old days when we used razors to cut out columns of type and attached them to the page with warm wax -- we called it the paste-up. Back then, it was easy to make this kind of mistake, if you weren't careful.
Many of us in the N&O newsroom thought it was was practically impossible in this age of electronic page composition to put legs of type in the wrong order. Now we know.