Member Briefing: November 8, 2019

Here is a brief weekly update from the RTA business coalition — the voice of the regional business community on transportation.

540 groundbreaking is this Wednesday
The moment we have been working towards for more than a decade is finally here – the groundbreaking for the extension of 540 to I-40 in southern Wake County is this Wednesday, Nov. 13. This week’s blog highlights the strengthened financial position and outlook for the turnpike, as well as several other areas of progress and opportunity. I spoke in favor of the project at this week’s Local Government Commission meeting; the LGC approved the upcoming sale of the NC Turnpike Authority’s proposed revenue bond package for 540. If you would like to attend the groundbreaking, please let Natalie know; we also look forward to celebrating at our annual meeting this January.

Wake BRT design meeting goes well
Last week, the City of Raleigh held a public meeting to highlight the initial design of the eastern bus rapid transit corridor along New Bern Avenue. The meeting was well-attended and highlighted the potential design and operation of what may be the region’s first BRT corridor. You can review the information presented at the open house here, and provide feedback on potential BRT station amenities here. We look forward to the successful opening of Wake County’s BRT corridors beginning in 2023.

I-440 ramp to close for two years – and help traffic flow  
Traffic heading from 440 west to Wake Avenue east will lose the direct loop ramp linkage for around two years beginning Monday evening to facilitate construction of the vital I-440 improvements project. Traffic using that ramp is comparatively low – less than 2,000 daily – and my sense is that the closure will also significantly improve traffic flow on both I-440 westbound as well as Wade Avenue freeway eastbound. The reason? The ramp closure will eliminate weaving sections on both roadways, and it will improve access to the high-usage ramp from eastbound Wade to I-440 east (towards North Raleigh). This is the second weekly briefing in a row with a ramp change that will improve freeway operations; last week we highlighted a change to the I-40 interchange at US 70 in Garner, and the resulting benefits to merging and freeway operations along I-40 west.

Thank you for your engagement in the voice of the regional business community on transportation! 

Let’s get moving,


Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA Executive Director

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