Detailed Study Alternatives Map
Detailed Study Alternatives Map

Detailed Study Alternatives Map

Project Fast Facts
  • Status: Projects Under Development
  • County: Wake, Johnston
  • Type of Project: New toll freeway
  • STIP Number: R-2721, R-2828, R-2829
  • Completion Date: Spring 2022 (contingent upon availability of funding)
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Description and Purpose

The proposed “Complete 540” project, also known as the Southeast Extension, would extend the Triangle Expressway from the N.C. 55 Bypass in Apex to the U.S. 64/U.S. 264 Bypass in Knightdale, completing the 540 Outer Loop around the greater Raleigh area.

Transportation demands, social and economic demands and mobility considerations are the basis for additional transportation infrastructure in southeastern Wake County. The “Complete 540” project would link the towns of Apex, Cary, Clayton, Garner, Fuquay Varina, Holly Springs, and Raleigh. In addition to connecting several towns and cities, the project would also connect major roadways in southern Raleigh and ease congestion on I-440, I-40, N.C. 42, N.C. 55, and Ten Ten Road.

Background

1996-1997 In accordance with the NC Transportation Corridor Official Map Act, NCDOT established a protected corridor for the portion of 540 between N.C. 55 Bypass in Apex and I-40 near the Johnston/Wake County line. A protected corridor preserves the location of a new road from encroaching development.
Late 2009 Environmental study began.
March 2011 North Carolina Session Law 2011-7 restricted NCDOT’s ability to evaluate the Red Corridor.
December 2012 FHWA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a letter requiring full evaluation of the Red Corridor. This evaluation is required for the project to remain eligible for federal funds and to meet the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The project could not be constructed without meeting these requirements.
June 2013 North Carolina General Assembly enacted House Bill 10 (Session Law 2013-94) and House Bill 817 (Session Law 2013-183) to remove previous restrictions on studying the Red Corridor. Governor Pat McCrory signed these bills into law allowing NCDOT to resume the environmental study.
July 2013 NCDOT resumed all environmental study activities for the project.
September 2013 NCDOT published Draft Alternatives Development and Analysis Report, including list of recommended Detailed Study Alternatives.
December 2013 NCDOT announced the alternatives that will be studied in detail in the DEIS. These alternatives are known as the Detailed Study Alternatives.

Latest News and Updates

In October, the department presented all alternatives to the public to review and comment on during a series of public meetings. State and federal agencies also reviewed the proposed routes in recent weeks. After careful consideration, NCDOT has decided to study all 17 recommended corridors in further detail, based on the comments received from the public, state and federal agencies, and the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, which coordinates transportation planning in the Raleigh area.

A key reason for this decision is that studying each of these corridors in detail now will greatly reduce the possibility of having to reconsider any of them in the future.

The next move is to conduct field work on all of the alternatives and prepare reports on each of them, documenting more detailed benefits, impacts and engineering components for the 17 routes. This will be followed by preparation and distribution of the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in the spring of 2015. The Draft EIS will be widely available to the public for review and contain important new information on the detailed studies.

Public comments and questions are always welcome, but the best opportunity for the public to provide additional comments on the detailed studies will be after they are completed and documented in the Draft EIS. Official comments on this information can be made during the review period for the Draft EIS, which will include public hearings. Once the review period is over, the department will select the final route location.

"Complete 540" Project Schedule*
Hold Public Meeting on AlternativesFall 2013
Finalize Detailed Study AlternativesWinter 2013
Complete Required Technical StudiesFall 2014
Receive Approval of the Draft Environmental Impact StatementSpring 2015
Draft EIS Review Period and Hold Public HearingsSummer 2015
Selection of the Preferred AlternativeFall 2015
Approval of Final Environmental Impact StatementSpring 2016
Publication of the Record of DecisionSummer 2016
Complete Financial FeasibilitySpring 2017
Begin Right of Way AcquisitionSummer 2017
Begin constructionSpring 2018
Open to trafficSpring 2022
*Subject to change based on the availability of project funding.

Estimated Cost

The cost of the project will be determined during the project development process. It is anticipated that the project would be funded in phases.

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