NCDOT announces accelerated schedule for 540
Last month the federal government joined NCDOT and the NC Turnpike Authority in signing the final environmental impact statement for the completion of 540 in southern Wake County. Completed 8 months early, this approval enabled NCDOT to release a revised and accelerated construction schedule. Under the revised plan, one segment in southern Wake would commence work later this year, with the remaining two segments west of I-40 beginning in 2019.

NC Turnpike executive director Beau Memory stated, “We are confident in getting this under construction more quickly. With the latest schedule, we now anticipate extending the Triangle Expressway to I-40 about a year and a half sooner.”

We are pleased to see the top priority of the regional business community accelerate significantly. There will be public meetings in late February for us to express our gratitude and support – current dates and times are here.

Weather or not, you can be ready
The size and impact of Wednesday’s snowfall – much higher than originally anticipated in forecasts earlier this week – provides us with a good reminder of the availability of online travel information when conditions change quickly. NCDOT operates a DriveNC.gov webpage which contains links to road condition summaries for our region. In addition, the National Weather Service here in Raleigh has a webpage for our market that I commend to your attention. You can’t do anything about the weather, but you can be ready.

Piedmont Rail Improvement Program complete
After $500m and 7 years, the state’s largest rail infrastructure improvement initiative, the Piedmont Improvement Program, is effectively complete. Funded by a grant from the federal government, which RTA helped lobby for several years ago, the program has greatly improved rail capacity and safety between Charlotte, Greensboro, Durham, Cary, and Raleigh by adding track, creating rail-highway separation bridges, and closing several crossings.  Kudos to NCDOT Rail Division for leading this effort – with the additional capacity now in place, we we will see a fourth daily train between Raleigh and Charlotte later this year, with a fifth daily train starting next year.

Thank you for taking an active role in our region’s success as a member of the RTA business coalition!

Let’s get moving,

Joe

Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA Executive Director