Winter 2020 Construction Update

On Monday, February 3, the North Carolina Turnpike Authority (NCTA), NCDOT and Cary opened the interchange at NC 540 and Morrisville Parkway. The opening is in advance of the project reaching 100% completion with outstanding elements including some overhead signage and tolling infrastructure. Special thanks to NCTA for opening this important regional connection before tolling operations are fully functional.

Fall 2019 Construction Update

The Morrisville Parkway Extension is completed and open! The NC540 interchange at Morrisville Parkway is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2020. The delay for opening the interchange is associated with relocating the proposed tolling infrastructure and some overhead signs. The trusses for the revised toll gantry locations are scheduled to be installed in December and then the North Carolina Turnpike Authority can complete the toll site integration. The overhead sign relocations were needed due to constructability issues and require additional geotechnical and structural design work as well as fabrication of new signage assemblies and foundations along NC540.

Morrisville Extension at NC540

Summer 2019 Construction Update

Good progress is being made and paving operations are anticipated to be in full swing in August. In addition:

  • The roundabout on the west side of the interchange is nearing completion.
  • Grading for the roundabout in the vicinity of Twyla Road is completed with curb and gutter scheduled.
  • Street light installations have started.
  • Overhead sign foundations are being installed.
  • All work associated with the interchange is scheduled to be completed this year with the exception of the new toll site construction recently requested by NCTA.



Project Background

The Town of Cary is working with local developers and the NCDOT to complete the last 1.83-mile segment of the Morrisville Parkway corridor from NC 55 to Green Level Church Road. The roadway will initially be a two-lane road and include an interchange at NC 540, the Western Wake Expressway.

The Town completed the preliminary designs, the Environmental Assessment (EA) and subsequent Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) documents for Morrisville Parkway widening and the NC 540 Interchange. The documents outline the project details and impacts, and fulfill 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 providing increased connectivity and access, as well as additional roadway capacity, within western Cary. The extension that is currently in progress will address the existing deficiency in the connectivity of segments of existing Morrisville Parkway. The interchange will provide Cary travelers better access to NC 540 than the current interchanges located at NC 55 and Green Level West Road. The four-lane widening will provide added capacity to the area roadway network, relieving projected 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 Alternative were evaluated for the proposed action. The Build Alternative represents construction of an interchange with NC 540 as well as the widening of the Morrisville Parkway Extension to a four-lane divided facility. The Build Alternative includes the evaluation of three interchange designs presented at the Citizens Informational Workshop in February 2012.
  • Preferred Alternative: The Build Alternative is presented as the Recommended Alternative for the proposed project. The 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). The preferred alternative meets the purpose and need of the projects with the least impacts to the environment and community.
  • 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 1,205 feet, 4 wetlands with a combined area of 0.29 acres and 9 residences where noise impacts may need to be mitigated.

Construction Costs and Funding

The estimated construction cost is $18 million, including relocation of Duke Energy utility lines. Funding includes $12.5 million from NCDOT and $3 million from STP-DA funds for a total of $15.5 million. Cary has allocated additional funding needed to construct the project based on current cost estimates.

Construction began in early 2018 and the connection is anticipated to be in place by the end of 2019.