The initial study of the planning and development of extending N.C. 55 to Judd Parkway in Fuquay Varina advised converting intersections of N.C. 55/ N.C. 42/U.S.-401 to an interchange. However, in a study completed by the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization in September 2015, concluded that the area beyond the immediate vicinity of the intersection be studied to comprehensively address congestion in the roadway network.
Addressing delays and congestion solely at the intersections of U.S. 401 at N.C. 42/N.C. 55 and N.C. 55 at N.C. 42 will only shift the deficient traffic operations to other parts of the network.
In February 2020, the N.C. Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the N.C. Division of Water Resources reached an agreement to move forward with three alternatives for further study, described below.
Alternative 1 is the most northerly of the three alternatives. It crosses U.S. 401 and the railroad and continues northwest before curving to the west, south of the Jones-Johnson Ballentine Historic District. It then continues westerly to intersect at Sunset Lake Road. Alternatives 1 and 2 are the same west of Sunset Lake Road, continuing west to tie into Judd Parkway, east of Stewart Street.
Alternative 2 is the central alternative. It crosses U.S. 401 and the railroad then turns westerly, passing on the north side of the Abiding Presence Lutheran Church property and curves around to the north of Smith Farms—the residential area that is located on the west side of Sunset Lake Road. It also ties into Judd Parkway, east of Stewart Street.
Alternative 3 is the southernmost alignment of the three alternatives. It too crosses U.S. 401 and the railroad then turns westerly and connects to Products Road. It then follows Products Road, crossing Sunset Lake Road and ties into Judd Parkway, east of Stewart Street.