Morrisville Parkway Extension and NC 540 Interchange
Overview (Spring 2013)
From NC 55 westward to Green Level Church Road
The Town of Cary is working with local developers and the NC Turnpike Authority to complete the last 1.83-mile segment of the Morrisville Parkway corridor from NC 55 to Green Level Church Road with a planned interchange at NC 540 (Western Wake Expressway).
The roadway will be constructed initially as a two-lane road, and later widened to four lanes when traffic demands necessitate the widening, pending permitting and funding (see History for more details).
The Town completed the preliminary designs and is nearing completion of the draft Environmental Assessment (EA) document for Morrisville Parkway Phase III and the NC 540 Interchange. The document outlines the project details and impacts and fulfills the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Key items addressed in the document include:
· Purpose and Need: The purpose of the proposed project is focused on providing increased connectivity and access, as well as additional network capacity within western Cary. The project would address an existing deficiency in the connectivity of segments of existing Morrisville Parkway and provide Cary travelers better access to NC 540 than at the current two interchanges located at the town's northern and southern limits. The facility will also provide added capacity to the west Cary roadway network which is an expected need for the future to relieve congestion on NC 55 and Green Level Church Road.
· Alternatives Considered: A full range of alternatives, including the No-Build Alternative, Alternative Modes of Transportation, Transportation Systems Management (TSM) Alternative, Improve Existing Facility Alternative, and new location Build Alternatives were evaluated for the proposed action. The Build Alternative represents the recommended alignment from the 2003-2004 corridor study and permitted by the US Army Corps of Engineers and NC Division of Water Quality in 2008. The Build Alternative does include the evaluation of three interchange designs presented at the Citizens Informational Workshop in February 2012.
· Recommended Alternative: The Build Alternative is presented as the Recommended Alternative for the proposed project. The Town’s preferred Build Alternative includes the construction of a partial cloverleaf interchange at NC 540 with ramps and loops in the northwest and southeast quadrants (Alternative C).
· Summary of Impacts: The main impacts of the preferred Build Alternative include the relocation of 7 residences, 6 stream crossings with a combined length of 2,825 feet, 4 wetlands with a combined area of 0.44 acres, 87 acres of forest impacts, and 9 residences where noise impacts may need to be mitigated.
· Preliminary Cost Estimate: The estimated total construction cost is $22.3 million, including the segments being built by development. The Town is working with developers along the corridor as well as the NC Turnpike Authority to determine funding and phasing opportunities to construct the project. This estimate included:
o Right-of-way acquisition = $4.2 million
o Interchange construction = $10 million
When the EA document is finalized, it will be available for download and public review and comment for 30 days. The Town will also hold a public hearing on the project; stay tuned for more details.
Currently, the Greystone (orange in map below) and Highcroft Village (purple in map below) segments of the extension are under construction by their respective developments.
There is no set date for the completion of the Morrisville Parkway extension or the interchange. The approval of the EA and final designs will help the Town determine a construction schedule. The Town’s Capital Improvement Plan shows partial funding for the construction of the interchange in Fiscal Year 2016 and for widening the roadway from 2 to 4 lanes in Fiscal Year 2020. (Note: Funding years are subject to change through the budget process as the project priorities are re-evaluated each year.)
The corridor is composed of three separate segments (shown in figure below) that are currently at in different stages of the development process:
· Western Segment: From Green Level Church Road to west of the NC 540 interchange
The Developer of Greystone PUD is currently constructing a two-lane portion from Green Level Church Road to 900’ from the NC 540 Bridge.
The Town of Cary has designed the remaining 900-foot two-lane section to the bridge.
· Bridge and Interchange at NC 540
The NC Turnpike Authority has completed the construction of the Morrisville Parkway bridge as part of their Western Wake Freeway project.
In September 2011, the Town began the study to design and provide the environmental documentation needed to move the NC 540 interchange forward. The study is reevaluating interchange configurations and intersections based on costs, impacts, and tolling. The study is currently underway and will be followed by final design of the interchange.
· Eastern Segment: From NC 540 interchange to NC 55
The Town is working with two developers to complete the eastern segment. The Town is working with developers to complete a two-lane roadway that may extend beyond their properties so that the roadway connection can be completed earlier.
The Developer of Highcroft Reserve (Phase 4 & 5) is currently constructing a two-lane portion from NC 55 to the western edge of their development.
The Developer of Fryars Gate is currently preparing site and phasing plans. Current Town development requirements would require the developer to construct the portion of Morrisville Parkway across their development. Town is in discussions with the Fryar’s Gate development to secure funding, ROW, and a construction schedule for the remaining segment between Panther Creek and NC 540.
2003-04: Town of Cary performed a corridor study and selected the planned roadway alignment from 5 alternatives.
2006: Town completes 25% design plans for Morrisville Parkway extension and interchange
2007: Town applies for Section 404 wetland and stream impacts permit for Morrisville Parkway
2008: NC Turnpike Authority takes over I-540 project
o NCTA determines they will not build interchange but will build two-lane bridge for future Morrisville Parkway
2008: US Army Corps of Engineers approve Section 404 permit for Morrisville Parkway
o Permit stipulates construction of 2-lane roadway first to minimize impacts but allows widening when traffic conditions warrant
2010: Town applies for and wins grant to evaluate new interchange options and perform environmental documentation needed to construct interchange
2010: Town Council approves recommendation for Highcroft development (see page 69 of attached council minutes) to construct 2-lane extension of Morrisville Parkway west from NC 55 halfway to NC 540 as part of improvements for subdivision approval.
2011: Town completes full design for 900’ segment west of bridge to Greystone PUD
2011: NCTA constructs Morrisville Parkway bridge
2011: Town starts functional interchange design and environmental study
o Three interchange alternatives presented at February 28 workshop
Two public workshops are being held for the interchange study:
· Citizens Information Workshop #1
Tuesday, February 28, 2012, 5:00-7:00pm
Cary Park Clubhouse, 5353 Cary Glen Boulevard, Cary, NC 27519
Staff presented the study details, environmental mapping, and interchange options.
Spring/Summer 2013 (tentative)
Come review the preliminary design plans and findings from the Environmental Assessment. The meeting is your opportunity talk to Town staff and project consultants about your concerns and questions. Staff will present the project findings, design details, and the anticipated schedule.
Stay tuned for more details and meeting materials.
The Town is funding the current study through two grants received from the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) LAPP program.
· Fiscal Year 2012 - $325,000 for interchange study
- $260,000 from CAMPO STP-DA grants, $65,000 from Town funds
· Fiscal Year 2013 (Proposed) - $750,000 for final design
- $600,000 from CAMPO STP-DA grants, $150,000 from Town funds
No determination of funding for the roadway or interchange construction has been made at this time.
The Town’s Capital Improvement Plan shows partial funding for the construction of the interchange in Fiscal Year 2016 and for widening the roadway from 2 to 4 lanes in Fiscal Year 2020.
For more information, contact:
Todd B. Delk, P.E.
Town of Cary Engineering Department