The East End Connector – the Triangle Connector to I-85 – is slated to begin construction in 2015 creating a new link between the Durham Freeway (NC 147) in south Durham and I-85 in northeast Durham, and completing a critical new north-south mobility corridor for the entire Triangle region.
The region’s ongoing focus on the importance and benefits of the Connector to the overall freeway network was affirmed through the state loop prioritization process announced Summer 2010.
The Triangle Connector to I-85 — the top freeway priority of the Regional Transportation Alliance — will connect the Durham Freeway (NC 147) with I-85 and US 70 in northeast Durham. Currently, there is no direct connection between Research Triangle Park and Interstate 85 north without going through Downtown Durham or several miles out of the way along NC 147 and US 15-501.
The Connector — which is known as the East End Connector from a state highway funding standpoint — would provide a link among four major transportation routes (I-85, US 70, NC 147, and I-40) and facilitate better traffic flow to and through Durham..
Completing the Connector will remove through traffic from indirect or downtown routings in and around downtown Durham. It will also improve access to east Durham as well as Granville and Person counties. Upon completion, and when coupled with the opening of the 540/Triangle Expressway turnpike which is currently under construction in southern Durham and western Wake counties, the region will enjoy new north-south, stoplight-free mobility in the heart of the Triangle and a true complement to east-west I-40.