Road Updates in Raleigh: What You Need to Know Now

Not so long ago North Carolina was known as being first in pavement, last in education. Today our K-12 system’s excellent reputation is no longer last and draws families to Raleigh and Wake County from all over the country, our roads still rule and keep getting better.

North Carolina’s roads are all maintained by the state with 80,000 lane miles, making us #2 in the country behind Texas. And while we have good roads with not too many potholes or litter issues, thanks to the diligent work of the NCDOT, we have a very high gas tax at 37.5%. Guess we have to take some good with the bad.

If you’re looking to buy a home in the Raleigh area, educate yourself on some of our big road projects and what impact they will have on your future home, neighborhood and your community.

I-540 and the Proposed Southeast Wake County Corridor Extension:

 540 is a partially built loop that encircles Raleigh and it’s been a boon to commuters from all over Wake County. A destination that used to take a driver 45 minutes before 540, is now 20 minutes or less.

The Northern loop crosses I-40, Morrisville, North Raleigh and Knightdale, while the Southern loop is a toll road called the Triangle Expressway that covers Cary, Apex, Durham and Holly Springs. The proposed Southeast Expressway, or the Orange Route, would connect Holly Springs with Garner, American Idol’s Scotty McCreery’s hometown! But before American Idol, Garner was best known as a bedroom community 8 miles south of Raleigh.

The NC Senate recently passed an OK to again study the Orange Route (which had been studied for 20 years) for the DOT, which has to balance the road’s impact with human and natural environments. There is a problem: the Orange Route cuts right into the habitat of the endangered dwarf wedge mussel. The mussel used to roam in streambeds all over Canada and the East Coast, but now it’s extinct in Canada and maybe here too if the Orange Route moves forward. Before the Senate passed the Orange Route, some in the legislature wanted to study the alternative six lane Red Route, which would have saved the mussel, but would have demolished Garner’s natural spaces, neighborhoods, and churches above Lake Benson. The Red Route is no longer an option.

But even if the DOT clears the way for the Orange Route, the Southeast Expressway will take six years to build.

Other Road Updates:

  • The I-540 Northern Corridor needs to be widened. Some of the new lanes will be toll and rest will be free
  • I-40 is widening to two more lanes during work hours. The study of Cary 1 and 64 to Poole Rd. begins in the next few weeks
  • I-440 widening at  Wade Ave to 6 lanes in 2018
  • Blue Ridge Rd. is going under the railroad tracks at the State Fairgrounds. This is a three year project that starts in 2016
  • The widening of Tryon Rd. at Garner to Lake Wheeler will be completed in 2016
    • There are a number of neighborhoods along this corridor that might be affected by increased traffic along Tryon Rd., including Renaissance Park
  • Morrisville Parkway near Preston will have a railroad going under the street

The roads that take you to your home are such an important factor when figuring out where to live in Raleigh. As your agent, I stay up to date with these details so you can make the best decision on where to live.

Today’s real estate market is complex and you want an experienced Realtor at your side who will go to bat for you and only you. Reach out to me and my team will put you in the right home and in the right neighborhood for you. Buying a home is not just a transaction to us, it’s about the relationship we build with you and the lives we help you find. Call Jason Graves today at 919-255-0182.


This blog post is brought to you by Jason B. Graves and Scott Graves at Raleigh Real Estate Blog. We are part of the Triangle Real Estate Group. LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to get the most current communication on Raleigh home prices and Raleigh inventory.  

Contact Jason Graves, Broker and Neighborhood Specialist and his blog at
2701 Rowland Road, Suite 300
Raleigh, NC 27615

Want to learn more about what I mentioned in this blog?

Map of Southeast Expressway study area:

Recent 540 Route News:

News & Observer article:

Original video to the Turnpike Authority as Garner fought the Red Route:

Look up your secondary roads