Complete 540 Project Moving Forward By Studying All 17 Alternatives in Detail Tuesday, December 17, 2013

RALEIGH - The N.C. Department of Transportation is moving forward with the Complete 540 project in Wake County by studying all 17 possible alternatives.
 
In October, the department presented all alternatives to the public to review and comment on during a series of public meetings. State and federal agencies also reviewed the proposed routes in recent weeks. After careful consideration, NCDOT has decided to study all 17 recommended corridors in further detail, based on the comments received from the public, state and federal agencies, and the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, which coordinates transportation planning in the Raleigh area.

A key reason for this decision is that studying each of these corridors in detail now will greatly reduce the possibility of having to reconsider any of them in the future.
 
“Each of the 17 alternatives has a different set of advantages and disadvantages and each has supporters and opponents,” said NCDOT Chief Engineer Terry Gibson. “Since there was not any new information uncovered during the recent public and agency involvement process, the NCDOT and Federal Highway Administration concluded that the best decision is to study all 17 in further detail. Multiple alternatives must be studied in order to satisfy agency concerns.”
 
Next Steps
The next move is to conduct field work on all of the alternatives and prepare reports on each of them, documenting more detailed benefits, impacts and engineering components for the 17 routes. This will be followed by preparation and distribution of the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in the spring of 2015.  The Draft EIS will be widely available to the public for review and contain important new information on the detailed studies.   
 
Public comments and questions are always welcome, but the best opportunity for the public to provide additional comments on the detailed studies will be after they are completed and documented in the Draft EIS. Official comments on this information can be made during the review period for the Draft EIS, which will include public hearings. Once the review period is over, the department will select the final route location.
 
NCDOT has established an aggressive schedule for all of the study’s remaining steps, so the final route location decision can be made as quickly as possible. In order to meet each step in the schedule, the study team will now devote its full attention to the technical studies and the Draft EIS preparation.

The Complete 540 project will improve mobility and reduce congestion on the existing roadway network within the rapidly growing communities south and east of Raleigh and major employment and activity centers along N.C. 540.  In addition, Complete 540 will provide a more direct route and quicker access to RTP and the RDU airport.
 
Please visit the project website at www.ncdot.gov/complete540, contact the project study team via our toll-free project hotline at (800) 554-7849 or email at complete540@ncdot.gov if you have questions. 
 
                                                                                ***NCDOT***

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