Skip to main content

Tour of Phase III of the Triangle Expressway

On Thursday, December 20th, the third - and at this point final - phase of the Triangle Expressway opened to traffic.  The opening extended the NC 540 Toll Road and additional five miles from US 64 in Apex to the NC 55 Bypass in Holly Springs.

Prior to the expressway's opening, I was fortunate enough to tour the highway via the Expressway Trot 5k on December 2nd.  On Christmas Eve, I took a spin on the new road for the first time.

For the entire flickr set, head here.

Since I never was able to get a good photo of it prior (and because I live on the opposite end of Wake County from here), I finally am able to post a photo of the 'END' NC 540 shield for the brief free section of NC 540. (I-40 to NC 54).

IMG_6727

Prior to that shot, the VMS announced that the highway is now open to NC 55 in Holly Springs.  This message alternates with a message explaining that tolls on that section will begin on January 2, 2013.

IMG_6726

And here's the newly opened stretch of highway!

IMG_6731

Don't let the empty roadway fool you - there was a fair amount of cars traveling the toll road on this afternoon.

IMG_6733

Designers of the toll road have mentioned that they included some visual aesthetics to enhance the driving experience and to differentiate if from a normal limited access highway.  The fancier concrete sign bridges, brick overpass foundations, and also brick sound barriers are part of those aesthetics.

IMG_6735

In addition, trees and shrubs have recently been planted in the grass median throughout the length of the toll road.

Here's the TriEx South at South Salem St. (Old US 1).

IMG_6740

Overheads for US 1 North and South just after the South Salem Street interchange.

IMG_6741

Toll NC 540 ends at the NC 55 Holly Springs Bypass.  What's interesting about this interchange is that traffic wanting to get on Bypass NC 55 West is directed over the median and onto the northbound Toll 540 carriageway to crossover NC 55 before taking a loop ramp onto Bypass NC 55 West.

IMG_6748

Here's the overhead for entering the Triangle Expressway from Highway 55 East.

IMG_6751

I detoured onto US 1 briefly so I could check out the signage for the new toll road on US 1 and also I was informed that the flyover ramp from US 1 North to Toll NC 540 North was actually pretty neat.

Here's the overheads on US 1 North at the Triangle Expressway Interchange (Exit 93)

IMG_6760

I think this is the first time in North Carolina a split ramp on a flyover interchange is split into A/B ramps.  I know that the ramps from I-40E to I-540/NC 540 or I-95N to I-40 does not have an A/B split.

IMG_6762

Chris Allen had given me a heads up on the flyover ramp from US 1 North to Toll 540 North.  And it is actually pretty interesting.  The ramp goes under the Triangle Expressway before going over US 1 to reach NC 540 North.  The signature red brick of the Triangle Expressway actually makes an impression here.

IMG_6763

Finally, I exited onto S. Salem St to check out how the new toll road is signed on more of a surface street/rural road.  Interestingly, there's an additional sign outside of the 'TOLL' 'NC 540 diamond' and Arrow.

IMG_6772




Comments

James Mast said…
"I think this is the first time in North Carolina a split ramp on a flyover interchange is split into A/B ramps."

Not true. The Northern I-485 interchange with I-77 did this first on the Inner loop ramp.

http://goo.gl/maps/d5rOM
Chris Allen said…
Thank you for not saying "Chris Allen had mentioned the US 1 flyover ramp, but I actually thought it was totally lame and uninteresting and a complete waste of my time." :)
Brent White said…
James, I-77 Southbound at I-277 has had the split into A/B ramps at least since 1994.
James Mast said…
Brent, that's not a flyover like the I-485/I-77 interchange is.

Popular posts from this blog

The Relief Route That Wasn't: The Never Built I-70 Bypass in the Mid-Mon Valley

In June 1963, a small blurb in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette read that The Westmoreland Engineering Company was awarded a $24,060 bid to study the proposed construction of Interstate 70 in Westmoreland and Washington Counties.  The study was to see what the construction and right-of-way costs "...to modernize the existing highway to Interstate requirements within eight months." (1)  This small, non-attributed, three paragraph article came less than a decade after the completion of a four lane highway that linked the Mid-Mon Valley to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. This would be the start of a 15 year process to upgrade and improve Interstate 70 - a process that ultimately never produced a single foot of new highway.

This is the story, albeit brief, of the I-70 that never came about.

Background:
What is now known as Interstate70 from Washington to New Stanton began as a connecting highway for the region to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Known as the "Express Highway", construct…

The Many Failed Plans of Pittsburgh's Wabash Bridge and Tunnel

The December 27, 2004 opening of the Wabash Tunnel ended over 70 years of proposals and speculation for the use of the over 100 year old facility.  The tunnel, which is now a reversible roadway that is an alternative route for rush hour traffic, saw many failed plans during the 20th Century.  These plans included options for mass transit, converted and new bridges for vehicles, and other forms of transportation.

Brief History:
Constructed in 1902-04, the Wabash Bridge and Tunnel was planned and financed by rail mogul, Jay Gould.  Gould began his "Battle of the Wabash" with the established railroads of the city in 1890.  He would finally emerge victorious, but during that struggle, Gould would see many setbacks that would eventually result in the railroad's bankruptcy in 1908.  On October 19, 1903, when the two ends of the bridge were to be joined together over the Monongahela River, the 109' bridge collapsed; killing ten men.  Construction would resume four days later …

A look at Pittsburgh's Saw Mill Run Boulevard

Saw Mill Run Boulevard - Pennsylvania State Route 51 - runs through the narrow Saw Mill Run Valley.  It begins at the intersection of Clairton Road and Provost Road at the City of Pittsburgh Line with Brentwood.  It ends at the West End Circle at the entrance to the West End Bridge.  A four lane highway for its the entire length, Saw Mill Run Boulevard consists of interchanges at the South Portal of the Liberty Tubes and with the Parkway West.  It is an expressway from the Parkway to the West End Circle (West End Bypass).  One of the most well known traffic tie-ups in the Pittsburgh area occurs between Maytide Street and PA 88 (Library Road) which is simply known as 'Maytide and 88.'

History:
Saw Mill Run Boulevard was part of the 1928 Allegheny County 'City Beautiful' bond issue.  The bonds resulted in the creation of Saw Mill Run, Ohio River, Allegheny River and Mosside Boulevards. (1)   After the completion of the Liberty Tunnels in 1924, Downtown Pittsburgh was offic…