The official preferred alternative selection is still scheduled for the spring.
The NC Department of Transportation will recommend “Detailed Study Alternative 2” as the preferred alternative for the Complete 540 project to federal and state agency officials later this month. From west to east, this route contains the orange, green (southern portion), mint and green (northern portion) corridor segments.
After the recommendation is presented, NCDOT’s federal and state agency partners will provide formal comments about the Department’s recommendation. NCDOT will then review those comments and make any necessary changes before announcing the official preferred alternative to the public this spring.
NCDOT has recommended the orange, green and mint segments because they:
- Are formally supported by all local governments;
- Minimize the number of relocations of homes and businesses, compared to other alternatives;
- Avoid impacts to the Swift Creek Watershed critical area (a source for Raleigh’s drinking water);
- Avoid the Clemmons Educational State Forest near Clayton
- Avoid impacts to historic resources; and
- Minimally affect only one local park.
In determining this recommendation, NCDOT used data from the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (including topics such as impacts on the environment, homes and businesses, parks, community facilities and historic sites, and cost), past public comments on the proposed alternatives, as well as public comments made during the public comment period that ran from Nov. 9, 2015 through Jan. 8, 2016.
For the next steps, NCDOT plans to announce the recommendation of the official preferred alternative this spring. Following that, the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Record of Decision (ROD) will conclude the environmental process, and NCDOT expects to award the construction contract in phases, starting in fiscal year 2017-2018. Phase one’s route is from the N.C. 55 Bypass to U.S. 401.
The complete 540 will extend the Triangle Expressway from the N.C. 55 Bypass in Apex to the U.S. 64/U.S. 264 Bypass in Knightdale, completing the 540 Outer Loop around the greater Raleigh area. This will link the towns of Apex, Cary, Clayton, Garner, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs and Raleigh. By better connecting these towns and cities, the project is anticipated to ease existing and future congestion on area roads, including Interstate 440, I-40, N.C. 42, N.C. 55 and Ten Ten Road.
For more information about the project, visit the Complete 540 webpage.