Skip to main content

Before the Dirt Flies on the Triangle Expressway

A recent news report indicated that there has been a delay in starting construction of the Triangle Expressway, the future toll portion of the 540 loop around Raleigh and connector between I-40 in Research Triangle park and 540. They blamed it on some permitting issues (maybe there now too close to NCDOT and inheriting their working traits). This gave me some time to take some 'before' photos at least along the corridor of the future Triangle Parkway that will run between I-40 and what is now the Davis Drive exit on NC 540. Starting at the northern end, or beginning:
This is current NC 147 South before it takes the curve to end at Alexander Drive. The Parkway will go straight and the connection to Alexander will be eliminated. If you see the gravel on the left, this was the only sign of construction I saw along the corridor. The following photos show the ending of NC 147 at Alexander that will be removed:
The stoplight at Alexander with signage common in Research Triangle Park. You can reach NC 54 and Davis Drive going to the right.
The soon to be late connection to the Durham freeway as it appears heading SW on Alexander.

Another look at the only new Parkway related construction I saw heading North on NC 147:
This may have been dug up to aide survey teams. The Parkway will cut across the photo probably starting near the I-40 sign and to its rear.

Heading on NC 540 West, the only signs of impending construction are new orange signs:
These signs are just beyond the exit ramp for the Exit 69, NC 54.
According to these signs the construction zone will begin just before the current Davis Drive exit ramp. The current access to Davis Drive will be changed and access will become part of the Triangle Parkway interchange built between the current off- and on-ramps.
This is the large open gap (about 1/2 mile) between the current ramps from Davis Drive is for use as part of the continuation of the Triangle Expressway onto NC 540 west as part of the continuation of the Triangle Expressway.
From the 'End Construction' sign you can see beyond the NC 55 exit sign, it appears, for now anyway, construction on this end anyway will concentrate on building the Triangle Parkway and not the Western Wake Freeway, the extension of NC 540.

As if there's any more evidence no construction has started:
This is the western end of NC 540. The site of the August groundbreaking can be seen on the left side. The access road and the ceremonial dirt put up next to where the stage was built still sitting there.

Finally here's where traffic on NC 55 will access the toll route west, then south toward Apex:
I will be back to this area, once the constant Turnpike Authority phrase "Construction could start in the next couple weeks" rings true.

Comments

brett said…
i've seen several times that the current end of 147 at alexander dr will be closed when the freeway is extended. but what if they did this instead: 1) close the northbound lanes entirely; 2) leave the southbound lanes open as an exit from 147 south to alexander dr.; 3) construct an entrance ramp from alexander dr. to 147 south at the current intersection; 4) construct an exit/entrance pair (entrance being a long loop) to and from northbound 147 to 54, maybe with the ramps ending at the intersection with park circle dr. 1/4 mile east of where 54 passes over 147. the latter may be too close to i-40 to be safe but the former shouldn't be a problem, eh? has anyone thought of this idea before? it could help mobility around not only south durham but also that section of rtp and keep maybe a small amount of traffic off of i-40.
Anonymous said…
Anyone here know whether they're going to reconstruct the exit from South NC 147 to East I-40 to a flyover and right entrance instead of the horrid left entrance? Or would that be in conflict with the nearby Davis Drive exit?
123 123 said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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…