Public meeting to address proposed $2 billion toll road around Raleigh

The impact of the proposed Complete 540 toll highway on the Neuse River watershed around Raleigh is only one of many concerns with the state project. (© iStock)

North Carolina taxpayers, drivers, landowners, families and other interested citizens are invited to discuss alternative solutions to the Complete 540 – Southeast Extension project on March 9th at 6:30 p.m. in Holly Springs, North Carolina. Complete meeting details are below.

The community event will be dedicated to discussing cost-effective alternative solutions that would place significantly less burden on North Carolina taxpayers than the proposed Raleigh-area toll highway. Topics will include transportation improvements that would be available to all travelers, not just those willing and able to pay an expensive toll.  Meeting participants also will discuss next steps for the Complete 540 project and chances for citizen involvement.

The controversial Complete 540 toll highway would cost more than $2 billion, making it the most expensive highway project in North Carolina history. Building the massive toll highway would require more than 275 families and businesses to relocate. More than 2,000 acres of prime farmland soil would be impacted.

The toll highway would also cause unprecedented environmental damage, destroying 149 acres of wetlands, more than 65,000 feet of streams, and severely degrading water quality in southern Wake County. The increased car traffic through this area would also increase localized air pollution, contributing to a host of negative health impacts such as asthma and other respiratory illnesses. The toll highway would also cause more sprawling development in undisturbed natural areas, effectively replacing wetlands and farmland with parking lots and strip malls. This changed land use would further degrade water and air quality in the project area.

In comments submitted to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), SELC has criticized NCDOT’s treatment of the project under its new data-driven scoring process. NCDOT relied on cost estimates that were almost half the true cost of the project to score and rank the project, affording it an unfair advantage over projects that were scored using accurate data.

SELC has also highlighted NCDOT’s failure to explain how the project would be funded. NCDOT assumes, without justification that nearly 66 percent of the project will be paid for through toll revenue.

Wednesday’s meeting will provide an opportunity for the public to consider and address this and the many other issues at hand.

 

Meeting details

Light refreshments will be provided.

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