Skip to main content

Triangle Expressway to become a reality

Yes, really.

We mean it.

Honest.

They're going to build the Triangle Expressway after all.

"They", of course, is the North Carolina Turnpike Authority, and according to the budget passed today by the General Assembly, they're going to receive their long-awaited "gap funding" to bridge the, well, gap between the immediate construction costs and the eventual toll revenue.

Bruce Siceloff managed to read through the budget -- no small feat, indeed -- and pulled out the details of the four turnpikes that received gap funding.
* TriEx, 18 miles in Wake County and Research Triangle Park. Total cost: $967 million. Gap funding: $25 million each year, starting this year.

* Monroe Connector / Bypass, 21 miles in Union County. Cost: $757 million. Gap funding: $24 million/yr, starting FY 2009-10.

* Mid-Currituck Bridge, 7 miles over Currituck Sound. Cost: $636 million. Gap funding: $15 million/yr, starting FY 2009-10.

* Garden Parkway, 15 miles in Gaston and Mecklenburg counties. Cost: $765 million. Gap funding: $35 million/yr, starting FY 2010-11.
So where's the money coming from?
They found the money by diverting part of a $172 million yearly transfer from the Highway Trust Fund to the General Fund, where the money has been spent in the past for non-transportation purposes. Transportation advocates have argued in recent years that Highway Trust Fund money — collected mostly from fuel taxes and automobile sales — should be used only for roads.
(What a novel concept, that last line.)

With this money now budgeted for construction, the Authority hopes to begin construction by the end of this year, and open the entire Triangle Expressway by the end of 2010. Of course, there's still a possibility that Gov. Mike Easley could veto the budget and we could start all over again, but for the time being, let's assume that won't happen. (Although given how convoluted the path to this point has been, nothing's impossible...)

Comments

Anonymous said…
Forgive my ignorance, but what is the purpose of the Garden Parkway? Maps I've seen of it seem to show it paralleling I-85 for its entire run... why is this road needed? Is there that much traffic in that area that I-85 can't handle it all?
Anonymous said…
The $24 Million "gap' funding is actually Appalachian Highway Development Funds which have been diverted since mid 80's from Corridor's A and K in Division 14. Prior to the "Equity" formula, which now is admitted by NCDOT, though hidden deep in Corridor K web page, the State of NC passed Session Laws to create "Infrastructure Banking". This ADHS money was and remains under full oversight of the FHWA, so there had to be a conspired effort on Federal level as well. The "infrastructure Banking" tool is now widely used by all states and not just for highways. The State of NC RANKS LAST OF ALL 50 STATES IN COMPUTER TRANSACTIONS per Citizen ... and even as recent as December 2014, the NC State Computer Information Office (SCIO) issued this statement as part of a Statewide Restructuring Plan document ...and I quote " In today's siloed nature of (NC) government, it is NOT possible to determine true costs and responsibilities or enforce accountability. The Siloed Nature of government has resulted in disparate processes.... TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY CANNOT BE ACHIEVED!!" James R. Wilson, PE jamiewilson@enigneer.com

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 …