Skip to main content

I-540 getting a new name

I read the headline, "New bit of Outer Loop renamed," in the paper this morning and thought nothing of it -- they were simply giving the western stretch of 540 a secondary name after some legislator or governor that had something to do with building the road. Right?

Well...
Days before the next stretch of Raleigh's Outer Loop is due to open for traffic, the state Department of Transportation is scrambling to give it a new name.

Workers this week began replacing red-and-blue Interstate 540 shields with black-and-white diamond signs to mark the new 4.5-mile stretch of six-lane freeway as N.C. 540.

"It's going to look like an interstate, and it's going to drive like an interstate, but it's just going to be called N.C. 540," said Kevin Lacy, state traffic engineer.

The 540 identity crisis stems from a state Turnpike Authority plan to build the 18-mile Triangle Expressway through RTP and western Wake County. The toll road would overlap with part of the new 540.

After gaining federal approval in January for the future switch to a toll road, turnpike officials lobbied the DOT not to label the new stretch of 540 an interstate. Transportation Secretary Lyndo Tippett, who doubles as turnpike board chairman, settled on the N.C. 540 name in May.

"The final decision was to maintain the 540 designation for continuity ... so drivers would not all of a sudden lose the road they were driving on completely," Lacy said, adding that "we are also, believe it or not, trying to minimize the confusion. We didn't want I-540 to end at some point for no reason."

Earth to Lacy: I-540 is going to end at some point (I-40, specifically) for no reason. Not only does this violate North Carolina's rules against duplicating route numbers -- although I guess I-/US 74 and I-/NC 73 have already destroyed those rules -- but there's long been a precedent established in other states where toll roads can have Interstate numbers as long as no federal money was used to build them. Not to mention, how much money are they going to waste on now-useless I-540 shields on the new section of the freeway?

This thing stinks on so many different levels that it could only happen in North Carolina.

Comments

Adam said…
Or could it be a hedge against the tolled Triangle Expressway not being built at all? If it is not built as a toll road that road isn't going any further for a decade or two,what's the point of calling it Future I-540 then?

Either way it doesn't make sense and just another feather in the NCDOT Dunce Cap.
Anonymous said…
The only name that needs to be on I-540 is VOID. The reason I moved to Apex was to get away from North Raleigh life, to be in the country. Now with this monster trying to come through all of that is going to be a thing of the past.

Is there not enough retail and strip malls in Wake county? All I hear is talk about how great it will be for people living in Holly Springs and how much growth will result. Those people need to move closer to RTP and not expect Apex residents to lose their homes to bail them out of there commute. I am being forced to move because I don't want to live beside a 6 lane interstate in Scotts Mill.

No one talks about people like us who do not want the road at all...
And yes we all knew it was coming but only now do we all see the massive scope of this that was unknown 10 years ago when the neighborhood was being built. Kill the project!!!! Its not fair to those who live in Apex and have no need for it.

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 was unknown (at least to…

California State Route 152

Circumstance had me out in the Monterey Peninsula again this week.  Generally I try to take a route like California State Route 198 or ever County Route J1 to get across the Diablo Range but time had me in a slight bind.  That being the case I took the popular way across the Diablos on California State Route 152 via Pacheco Pass.  152 is one of infamy given it is really the primary route for truckers to get from I-5 west in San Joaquin Valley to US 101 in Salinas Valley.  After zig-zagging some accidents on/off California State Route 99 near Madera in the rural outskirts of the County bearing the same name I began my westbound trek on 152.




CA 152 is called the William Whitehurst Highway, at least it is west from CA 99.  The entire route of CA 152 in San Joaquin is an expressway aside from a small portion in the city of Los Banos.



The first junction on CA 152 is with CA 233 which is a small 4 mile highway that travels northeast to CA 99.






Next westbound CA 152 encounters the junction w…

The National Road - Ohio - Muskingum and Licking Counties

As it travels from Zanesville towards Columbus, US 40 goes through numerous small towns, changes from two to four lanes and back numerous times, but most importantly the old road keeps its rural charm.  Between Zanesville and Gratiot, there are four former alignments of the old road that can be found: just west of Zanesville, Mt. Sterling, Hopewell and Gratiot.  Most stretches are very short and can be easily recognized with names as "Old US 40", "Old National Road" or some combination of the two.

Zanesville:
Just west of US 40's interchange with Interstate 70 (Exit 152) runs an old alignment.

Mt. Sterling:
Another old alignment goes through this small Muskingum County village.
Hopewell:
Today, US 40 passes south of the community of Hopewell.  The old two lane road is known as Hopewell National Road.
Gratiot:
Old US 40 is known as Main Street in this tiny village of 200 or so residents.  The old highway at times seems forgotten through here.
Just west of Gratiot, US 40 …