State to spell out environmental report for NC540 completion

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The first of three public meetings will be held Monday night to allow residents to weigh in on the "Complete 540" project - which has been in the works for more than 20 years.

The catalyst was a federal environmental report the state received earlier last month that spells out the potential costs of each of the 17 possible routes the new road could take.


The report doesn't make recommendations or eliminate routes. It does clear the way for the project to move forward.

At the meetings, the state is expected to spell out the federal report and its conclusions: the impact on streams, wetlands, flood planes, farmlands, historic sites, publicly owned land, and - of course - people.

It spells out how many homes, businesses, and parcels of land would have to be bulldozed to make way for the new road and quantifies the actual costs of each route, ranging from 2.2 to 2.6 billion dollars.

Some people from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, representatives from towns along the potential paths, engineers, and other officials are expected to be in attendance at the meetings:

Monday, Dec. 7, 2015
Barwell Road Elementary School
3925 Barwell Road, Raleigh
Public Meeting: 6 to 8 p.m. (no formal hearing on this date)

Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015
Holly Springs High School Cafeteria
5329 Cass Holt Road
Public Meeting: 6 to 8 p.m. (no formal hearing on this date)

Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015
Wake Tech Community College - Student Services Building, Room 213/214
9101 Fayetteville Road, Raleigh
Public Meeting: 4 to 6:30 p.m., Hearing: 7 p.m.

The public comment period started last month; all comments have to be submitted by January 8.

Best case, the schedule for the project looks like this:

  • End of comment period - January 8

  • State selects preferred alternative - March 2016

  • Final federal environmental report - Late-2016

  • Decision accepted - 2017

  • First contract (of 3) awarded - 2018

  • Construction begins:

  • Section 1: 2018-2020
    Section 2: 2022-2024
    Section 3: 2025+


And check for project updates.

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