The sound you heard coming from Garner Town Hall on Monday may well have been the corks from celebratory champaign bottles.
Finally, after literally years of surveying, studying, listening to people, the N.C. Department of Transportation has signed off on a route for the southern portion of 540, which will close the loop around Raleigh and, with time, bring greater access and mobility to the people of Garner, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs and beyond.
What makes the decision even better is that the route DOT settled on is the one most people in the region have been asking for all along. The Orange Route will do the least damage to the human environment in and around Garner and it will open new areas for commerce.
To be sure, there is an environmental price to pay, but investigators have determined that price to be small enough to merit going ahead with the project.
The decision also, hopefully will soon unfreeze the assets of property owners along other corridors that were under consideration, which could not be developed for fear that the new road might need that land.
Motorists should not expect to be driving on the new road any time soon, of course, but the process has crossed one of the biggest hurdles it had to face in simply deciding where to put the road.
The selection of the Orange Route also should give comfort to those living in more populated areas – such as along the Red Route – that they won’t have to pull up stakes and move from their homes or uproot their businesses for the sake of others.
We’re glad the state and federal governments have reached this point in the process. We understand there is still much to do, from land acquisition to contract bidding to the actual pouring of the asphalt, but this is an Orange-letter event in Garner’s history.