TriEx tempest

December 16, 2012 

So far, it’s just a study. Or rather, a proposed study. Garner Mayor Ronnie Williams managed to get the state legislature to pass a law stopping the N.C. Department of Transportation from studying the “Red Route,” an alternative path of the Triangle Expressway slated to cross southern Wake County. Now the road’s in peril, because federal regulators will not permit the state to build the road unless all routes have been reviewed.

Williams’ objections are understandable, as the Red Route would displace many businesses and homes in Garner. The alternative “Orange Route” preferred by the state would not cause as much disruption, and would stand a good chance of approval from the feds. But unless that Red Route is studied, it wouldn’t matter: the project would stop cold. Federal officials want to examine all possibilities.

Mayors of Holly Springs, Apex and Fuquay-Varina now say they favor moving on with a Red Route study, because they know that economic development in their areas will be seriously hurt if no road is built.

Is the federal request annoying? Maybe so, but unless it’s answered, southern Wake will lose a beneficial project for sure. Lawmakers should repeal what they did.

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