Skip to main content

An I-540 Preview

With the next segment of I-540 about a month away from opening to traffic, I took a small ride out to Western Wake County and took a look at the highway before it opens.

Note: The official exit number is within the parentheses. An error in signing plans caused the exit numbers to be 20 miles off.

Exit 47 (67): NC 55
This exit will be a six ramp partial cloverleaf interchange. This will be the current end of I-540.

Approaching I-540 from NC 55 West in Morrisville.

This time I am on NC 55 East at the interchange. I-540 will include the 'Future' designation. This is because of a rule that says Interstates must end at a National Highway System (NHS) route. NC 55 obviously is not a part of the NHS.

Exit 49 (69): Davis Drive/Research Triangle Park

This exit is an expansive Y-shaped interchange linking I-540 to the heart of Research Triangle Park. The interchange flows into Kit Creek Drive which provides quick access to Davis Drive.

Kit Creek Drive ends as the ramps to/from I-540 begin/end.

A wide view of the expansive I-540/Davis Drive Interchange.

Folks leaving RTP to get on I-540 will come to this split on the on ramp. What's interesting is that the 'Future' tab is missing here.

A full 22x zoom looks over a mile north/east on I-540 towards NC 54 and I-40. I didn't have my tripod with me or the Future East 540 shield that sits behind the 1/2 mile guide sign for NC 54 would be clearer.

Exit 50 (70): NC 54

The last of the three new exits for I-540 will be for NC 54 just on the Northeastern edge of RTP. Unlike the interchange at NC 55, signs aren't up for I-540 nor is the highway opened to four lanes.

Heading east on NC 54 approaching the I-540 interchange. The new travel lanes on the right aren't quite ready for NC 54 East to move onto them. The interchange with I-540 will be a partial cloverleaf known as a folded diamond.

Closed off and unpaved ramps to/from I-540 East at NC 54.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Nice pics! Any sign that they have started land purchase for the next part of the western leg?
Adam said…
There hasn't been any, yet. Once and if the NCTA gets funding from the General Assembly, the land purchases on the Western Wake Expressway will begin.

Popular posts from this blog

The story on how the unbuilt US 40 Expressway in Brownsville took 40 years to complete.

For nearly four decades, the four lane US 40 just east of Brownsville came to an abrupt end - shown in the photo above - at Grindstone Road in Redstone Township.   In the late 1960s, what was then the Pennsylvania Division of Highways (PennDOH) extended a new four lane alignment of US 40 eastwards from Broadway Street slightly over one mile to Grindstone Road where an incomplete diamond interchange was built.  Earlier in the decade, PennDOH had built a four lane US 40 in Washington County into Brownsville complete with a new crossing over the Monongahela River known as the Lane Bane Bridge.  This new highway and bridge allowed US 40 to bypass the older Intercounty Bridge and downtown Brownsville. 

After this new highway opened, nothing would happen to it for nearly forty years.  US 40 traffic would use the ramps for this planned diamond interchange and then jog on Grindstone Road briefly before continuing towards Uniontown on the original National Road. 
What is unknown (at least to…

The story of the Boy Scout Ramps on Interstate 79 North in NW Pennsylvania

If you are traveling on Interstate 79 North of Pittsburgh, you may notice the remnants of a set of off and on ramps at mile 100 just north of Exit 99 (US 422).  There's a story behind these ramps.  Forty years ago, these ramps were built specifically for two Boy Scout Jamboree's that were held at Moraine State Park - 1973 and 1977.  The ramps purpose were to provide access to the north shore of Lake Arthur where the bulk of the festivities and campsite for the Jamboree were located.  (Lawrence County Memories has a great write up and map of the festivities on its site.)

Not long after the Jamboree ended the ramps were abandoned.  There are still remnants of the Boy Scout Ramps today.



Above: Sattelite view of the Boy Scout Jamboree Ramps. 
Below: A view of the ramps from I-79 South.



The google street view image above gives a view along West Park Road of where the set of ramps intersected the highway.  The ramps provided direct access to North Shore Drive (which is the right tur…

The few clues of the Northern Durham Parkway

Sometimes when you look through a box of maps for the first time in five years, you come across something you may have easily over looked.  Such was the case when I found a 2004 (so rather recent) map of Raleigh.  This map was made by the Dolph Map Company for WakeMed.  In the Northwestern corner of Wake County, there were two items to the map showing roads that are still not in existence 13 years later.

The road is the Northern Durham Parkway - this is a proposed 19 mile highway from US 501 north of Durham to the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.  The first proposals for this highway date back to 1967 when Eno Drive-Gorman Road was listed on the Durham Area Thoroughfare Plan. (1)  Other proposals called the highway the Northwest and Northeast Durham Loop. (2)  The route would serve as a northern and eastern bypass of Durham almost serving as a near loop.  The route was fought vigorously for three decades by the Eno River Association citing concerns for the the Eno River, nearby n…