RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation has awarded an $18.4 million contract to create a new interchange on the Triangle Expressway at Old Holly Springs-Apex Road. This is the first new interchange along North Carolina’s first modern toll road since its final phase opened in 2013.
The interchange was requested by local transportation planners, and included in the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) Long Range Transportation Plan and will improve mobility for current traffic, as well as for much larger volumes of traffic anticipated within the next ten years, as a result of substantial growth/development. Traffic along Old Holly Springs-Apex Road is projected to increase from 1,900 vehicles per day in 2010 to 34,900 vehicles per day in 2035.
The contract includes work for road widening, milling, resurfacing and shoulder reconstruction as well as bridge widening, toll site infrastructure and intelligent transportation system (ITS) upgrades. All electronic toll zones will be constructed on the northbound on-ramp and the southbound off-ramp.
Construction crews can begin work as early as July 27, and the project is anticipated to be fully complete by May 2017. Traffic is anticipated to be able to begin using the interchange ramps in November 2016.
The project will be completed using the Design-Build method, which allows design, environmental permitting, right-of-way acquisition, utility relocation and construction of a project to take place at the same time, under one contract. This method reduces overall construction time, helps avoid cost inflation, and allows the contractor to make innovations that save taxpayers money, lessen environmental impact and alleviate driving delays for motorists.
Blythe Construction, Inc. of Charlotte was awarded the project after being determined to be the “Best Value” Design-Build team. The bid came in about $2 million less than anticipated.
The toll rate for 2-axle vehicles for each of the two new toll zones at the interchange is anticipated to be approximately $0.20 and $0.31 (for NC Quick Pass and Bill by Mail, respectively). These rates are preliminary and are subject to final approval. This will not affect the price of the entire Triangle Expressway trip or any other toll rates at existing toll zones.
The Triangle Expressway is an 18.8-mile, modern all-electronic tolling facility located between Interstate 40 and the N.C. 55 Bypass. The Triangle Expressway strives to improve commuter mobility, accessibility and connectivity to western Wake County and Research Triangle Park while reducing congestion on the existing north-south routes that serve the Triangle Region, primarily N.C. 55 and N.C. 54.
This is one of 21 road and bridge projects recently awarded by the Department of Transportation. The contracts were awarded to the lowest qualified bidder, as required by state law. They are worth $229.3 million, which is $9.1 million below NCDOT engineers’ estimated cost.
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