Raleigh, N.C. — The Record of Decision has been received from the Federal Highway Administration for the Triangle Expressway Southeast Extension (also known as Complete 540), signifying final federal approval of the project’s route. After years of studying various route alternatives, the Record of Decision confirms the orange-green-mint-green route as the selected alternative.
“We are excited to hit this milestone for a project that has been a priority for the local communities, metropolitan planning organization and regional business community,” said North Carolina Turnpike Authority (NCTA) Executive Director Beau Memory. “This is a critical step in advancing a project that has received nearly 30 local resolutions of support calling for the completion of the 540 outer loop.”
This approval allows NCTA and the North Carolina Department of Transportation to move the project forward. The project will extend the existing Triangle Expressway from the N.C. 55 Bypass in Apex to U.S. 64 / U.S. 264 (I-495) in Knightdale.
“The final approval of 540 — the regional business community’s top transportation priority — is a great day for our entire extended market,” said Regional Transportation Alliance Executive Director Joe Milazzo II, P.E. “The 540 extension will provide free-flow mobility and direct linkages to I-40, I-87 (U.S. 64-264 bypass), future I-42 (U.S. 70 Clayton bypass), and I-540 itself — creating a resilient regional transportation network for our growing region — while serving commuting, transit, commerce, and tourism.”
The Record of Decision allows NCTA and NCDOT to acquire land needed for the project’s right of way, obtain environmental permits and advance construction plans. The first of three construction contracts is now in the procurement process and the other two contracts will begin procurement later this year.
“This is wonderful news, as the Complete 540 project will better connect communities across the region and benefit drivers on our local roads,” said Holly Springs Mayor Dick Sears. “I fully support the completion of this critical road project as soon as possible and this is “regionalism” at its best.”
The project’s first phase is anticipated to open in 2023. To view a copy of the Record of Decision, visit the project website at https://www.ncdot.gov/projects/complete540/Complete540EIS.html.