Cary explores options for NC 540 ramps

aspecht@newsobserver.comFebruary 19, 2014 

— Town leaders are looking for ways to expedite the construction of ramps connecting Morrisville Parkway to N.C. 540 in western Cary.

The freeway already passes through that section of town, and Cary recently adopted a plan to extend Morrisville Parkway to N.C. 540 by 2016 or 2017.

The plan calls for two ramps that would carry traffic off N.C. 540 onto the parkway and two traffic “loops” that would carry traffic onto N.C. 540.

But there’s currently no funding for the ramps, and the North Carolina Turnpike Authority isn’t likely to begin construction of the ramps until 2018 when it hopes to build the southern leg of 540.

Cary Town Council directed staff last month to work with the N.C. Department of Transportation and local residents to look for alternative ways to pay for the ramps.

“We would not be spending money we don’t have,” Councilwoman Gale Adcock said. “What we’re looking for are creative ways to fund this and get it moved along faster than we think might otherwise happen.”

The Morrisville Parkway extension begins at N.C. 55, which is the western border of Adcock’s council district. Adcock and Jennifer Robinson, who represents western Cary, initiated the conversation.

Not only would expediting ramp construction improve connectivity, they said, but it would also benefit residents hoping to sell their land along Twyla Road, which runs parallel to N.C. 540.

Once finished, the Morrisville Parkway extension will cut the mostly wooded Twyla Road community in half. A group of residents hope to sell their land – a combined 79 acres – to a developer who might turn the area into a shopping center or denser residential subdivision.

Specht: 919-460-2608

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