The region will Complete 540

RTA members,

I am pleased to let you know that our long-time partners at the NC Turnpike Authority and the NC Department of Transportation have activated an acceleration plan that will complete the entire 540 loop.

The regional business community has been a strong supporter of the development of the 540 multimodal beltway for more than 20 years. Thanks to a vote this afternoon by the NCDOT Board of Transportation, which devotes up to $100 million in funding to advance critical path work for the remaining eastern section of the 540/Turnpike, the region is now on the glidepath to complete 540.

Construction of the southern section of the Turnpike Authority’s Complete 540 (i.e., “phase 1”, between NC 55/Holly Springs and I-40/future I-42/US 70 east, or between 7 o’clock and 5 o’clock on the beltway “clock” if you prefer that visualization) is well underway, with opening in less than two years in spring 2024.

With today’s vote, the NC Turnpike Authority will “let” two design-build contracts for the remaining eastern section of Complete 540 (i.e., “phase 2”, between I-40/future I-42/US 70 and I-87/US 64-264, or between 5 o’clock and 3 o’clock) next year, with construction activities commencing in 2024 and expected loop completion in in the second half of 2028.

Completing 540 will create connectivity and resiliency benefits for current and future residents and visitors for the extended Triangle region. Wake, Johnston, Harnett, Franklin, Wayne, Nash, Wilson, Cumberland, Chatham, Lee, Durham, Orange, Granville, Person, Moore – and more – counties will benefit from the opening of this vital turnpike freeway, as it will link current and future jobs, workers, suppliers, and customers.

RTA was created for a number of reasons, with the largest being securing our future mobility, economy, and quality of life. We have supported and ensured the success of the western and southern segments of the 540/Turnpike through a host of cooperative, dedicated efforts since 2002. Thanks to the outstanding work by our friends at NCDOT and NC Turnpike Authority, our ongoing partnership will allow the entire 70 mile multimodal 540 circle to be complete.

It’s a great day for mobility in the metropolitan Triangle, and we are just getting started.

Let’s get moving,


Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA Executive Director

RTA is the voice of the regional business community on transportation

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