The region will complete 540: Final contract awarded

RTA members and partners,

The region will complete 540.

Earlier this week, the N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and N.C. Turnpike Authority (NCTA) announced that they have awarded and signed the final construction contract needed to complete the 540 loop.

A total of 18 miles of the future 540 freeway in southern Wake County are currently under construction. The southern Wake freeway, which will begin at NC 55 in Apex and end at I-40 and future I-42, will be complete and open to traffic this coming spring. The eastern Wake section may begin construction at approximately the same time, with completion of those final 10 miles of the 540 loop by mid-2028.

I was quoted in the Triangle Business Journal saying “You cannot overstate the impact of completing multimodal freeway infrastructure on the success of our region, and our region’s businesses – both now and for the future of business and commerce. This contract ensures that there will be 28 miles of 540 opening within five years – 18 of those by next year.”

The completion of 540 will allow more areas in the metropolitan Triangle to become unified from a commerce, accessibility, and mobility standpoint. The new freeway will create connectivity and resiliency benefits for current and future residents and visitors for the extended Triangle region.

To that point:  central, southern, and nearby eastern North Carolina will all benefit from the completion of this vital turnpike freeway, as it will link current and future jobs, workers, suppliers, and customers. Chris Johnson, the director of economic development for Johnston County, has consistently referred to 540 as the most important transportation project for the county other than I-40 itself.

The bottom line is this:  the regional business community is thrilled with the sustained, purposeful efforts over many years of NCDOT, NC Turnpike Authority, CAMPO, and many other partners to bring this vital multimodal infrastructure to the brink of construction.

The accelerated completion of 540 is great news for the growing metropolitan Triangle, and we are just getting started.

Let’s get moving,



Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA Executive Director


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