Complete 540 - Triangle Expressway SE Extension


Federal Aid Project Nos. STP-0540(19), STP-0540(20), and STP-0540(21)

TIP Project Nos. R-2721, R-2828, & R-2829

NCDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are proposing to build a new, limited-access highway from the N.C. 55 Bypass in Apex, to the U.S. 64/U.S. 264 (I-495) in Knightdale—a distance of approximately 27 miles. The proposed highway, known as Complete 540–Triangle Expressway Southeast Extension, is being proposed as a toll facility.

This proposed highway has been shown to be the most practical solution for meeting the purposes of the project, which are to improve mobility and reduce traffic congestion south and east of the Raleigh area during peak travel periods. A secondary purpose of the project is to improve system linkage in the regional roadway network by completing the 540 outer loop around the greater Raleigh area, which would benefit commuters living south and east of Raleigh, as well as motorists making longer trips through the Triangle Region.


Vicinity Map    



Complete 540 is divided into three projects in the NCDOT State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).  The three projects were combined in the environmental study.

  • Project R-2721 (from N.C. 55 Bypass to U.S. 401)
  • Project R-2828 (from U.S. 401 to I-40)
  • Project R-2829 (from I-40 to U.S. 64/U.S 264 (I-495)

Construction will likely be completed in phases that correspond to these three individual projects. Depending on available funding, each project will likely have different construction time lines.




The Triangle Expressway is the largest highway project in North Carolina history and the first modern toll road in North Carolina. The first two segments opened in southern Durham and western Wake counties in 2011 and 2012.  

  • The first segment of the roadway in Research Triangle Park opened in December 2011.  
  • The next segments, representing the continuation of the 540 Outer Loop, opened in August and December 2012.  

The next extension of the turnpike (called the Triangle Expressway Southeast Extension) will extend the expressway from the N.C. 55 Bypass at Apex to the south and east to I-40 at the existing U.S. 70 Clayton Bypass.  

The final segment of the Triangle Expressway Southeast Extension will extend 540 from I-40 at U.S. 70 Clayton Bypass north and east to U.S. 64/264 freeway at I-540.


Key Map: 


Viewable/Downloadable Maps  (please note maps 1 through 9 are  25-32 MB ea)

Subdivision Listing With Map Location

Key Map

Map 1                              Map 4                              Map 7

Map 2                              Map 5                              Map 8

Map 3                              Map 6                              Map 9


Complete 540 is proposed to be a 6-lane Median-Divided Freeway.  Each direction would consist of 3 - 12 foot lanes with an inner/outer 12-foot foot paved shoulder.  The two directions of traffic would be separated by a 70 foot median.




Complete 540 will be constructed as a design build project.  This is a different process than most typical roadway projects. The design-build process allows NCDOT to hire a team of designers and contractors that is responsible for the design, right of way acquisition, and construction of a project. The team may begin construction of one portion of the project while they finish the design and right of way acquisition for others, usually resulting in faster completion.

Other potential benefits to a design-build project may be innovative solutions and quicker resolution to problems that arise during design and construction. 



NCDOT will conduct three public meetings and one formal public hearing in February.  The meeting dates, times and locations are shown below.

February 20, 2018

Public Meeting #1

Holly Springs High School 

5329 Cass Holt Road, Holly Springs

Open House Public Meeting:     6:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.

No Formal Presentation will be made

February 21, 2018

Public Meeting #2

Barwell Road Community Center

5857 Barwell Park Drive, Raleigh

Open House Public Meeting:     6:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.

No Formal Presentation will be made

February 22, 2018

Public Meeting #3 and Public Hearing

Wake Technical Community College

9101 Fayetteville Road, Raleigh

Open House Public Meeting:     4:00 P.M. - 6:30 P.M.

Formal Presentation (Public Hearing) 7:00 P.M.


NCDOT Hearings Officer

Jamille Robbins
NCDOT Environmental Analysis Unit
1598 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC  27699-1598
[email protected]



Project Toll Free Hotline:  1-800-554-7849

Email: [email protected]

NCDOT’s “PublicInput” site:


Comments will be accepted until March 23, 2018   


NCDOT Resources for Property Owners

Although the N.C. Department of Transportation works to minimize the number of homes and businesses displaced by a road project, it is inevitable, in many cases, that a certain amount of private property is needed. The following information explains right of way acquisition and answers questions about the process.  

Relocation Assistance Brochure                                                                    Asistencia para Reubicación      
Right-of-Way Acquisition Process Brochure                                                Folleto del Proceso de Adquisición de Bienes Raíces
Right-of-Way Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have comments or questions for the project team?
hurry it along it takes me an hour to get to work now from holly springs to clayton hopefully this new hwy. will reduce my travel time and gas consumption
Reply1 Agree6 days ago
This can't be completed fast enough! This serves those going to work, who can pay the toll to expedite their commute. It will take those drivers off the surface streets and make it easier for those taking kids to school, going shopping, etc.
ReplyAgree4 days ago
We don’t need this highway it will only worsen the problem of suburban sprawl. Other transportation infrastructure involving more mass transit between urban centers is what we really need! Who is really served by a toll road?
ReplyAgree5 days ago
Whats is being done to reduce both construction and highway noise ?
ReplyAgree7 days ago
How will completion of 540 change your daily commute or the traveling habits of your family?
Completing 540 will make my travels easier.
Completing 540 will not make my travels easier
I'm not sure how Completing 540 will affect my travels.
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Do you have questions you would like answered by the project team?
We live in off Truelove Dr. Can you tell me how the intersection at Truelove Dr and Bell Lake is impacted? Will a left turn onto Bells Lake still be a possibility or will there be a median/divider?
Thank you.
ReplyAgree6 hours ago
We live in Scots Laurel off Kildaire Farm Road. After completion of the project, will we still be able to use Kildaire Farm Rd to travel to Cary, and also can we still travel down Holly Springs Road to get to Holly Springs? Will Holly Springs Rd. be eliminated, replaced by the freeway? Also the map shows the section of Kildaire Farm Road being eliminated in front of the two houses that are at the entrance of our subdivision. Will these houses be eliminated? Thank you, Jennifer Morris
ReplyAgree8 days ago
Do you have a comment you would like to provide to the project team?