Top RTA 2017-18 Priority: Accelerate the construction of NC 540 to I-40


When fully complete, the Raleigh Outer Loop — I-540 and NC 540 — will provide free-flow mobility across Wake County and create vital connections across the Triangle, including direct freeway linkages to I-40, I-85, I-885, NC 147, U.S. 70, U.S. 1/64, and I-42.

The regional business community is focused on accelerating the most critical portion of the 540 extension which will connect with I-40 at the US 70/Clayton Bypass.

The RTA business leadership group supports the 540 extension and completion to I-87/US 64-264 Knightdale Bypass to create a resilient regional transportation network for commuting, freight, transit, and more.


Current Efforts

  • We are advocating for an acceleration of the timetable of beginning construction of 540 prior to 2020.
  • See recent news coverage.

Recent Successes

  • The federal government signed the final environmental impact statement for the entire proposed 540 corridor Dec. 2017 – eight months ahead of schedule
  • Proposed segment from US 401 to I-40/Clayton bypass accelerated to 2020 in draft TIP
  • Successful restart of the study to complete 540 in southeast Wake County in summer 2012
  • Successful repeal of legislation that prevented the 540 Southeast Extension turnpike from moving forward
  • Successful repeal of CAMPO resolution that prevented the 540 Southeast Extension turnpike from moving forward
  • RTA hired national policy consultant to identify possible alternative corridors and study improvements for 540/Triangle Expressway extension
  • Speed limit increase from 65 MPH to 70 MPH on all open sections of Raleigh Outer Loop as a result of RTA request
  • North Carolina’s first modern turnpike, The Triangle Expressway, opened from I-40 in Durham County South to NC 55/Holly Springs Bypass in 2012
  • RTA advocated for the acceleration of the Triangle Expressway for more than ten years, from 2005 to its completion in January 2013. View an early RTA position paper here.

NCDOT project page:

> Learn more about RTA business leadership on 540/Triangle Expressway


InterOp Sign2

The Triangle Expressway is the most interoperable toll road in the United States accepting more than 5 different payment types