NCTA opens second leg of Triangle Expressway
By Peter Samuel
North Carolina has quietly multiplied its mileage of tollroad in recent days to 13 miles from 3.4 miles. Thursday morning August 2 tolling was in operation on 13 miles of the Y-shaped northern portion of the Triangle Expressway (TriX) project (blacked in the map nearby.)
The first segment of the TriX opened 8th December 2011 - a 3.4 mile portion designated State Route 147 (NC147) in the northwest end of the 18.8 mile project.
Tolls began there on January 3, 2012.
Most of the TriX is designed NC540, 540 being the designator for a developing beltway around the Raleigh area, the I-540 in the north being tax-funded, and the tolled portion under development on the westside.
A short connecting stretch of NC540, NC55 to NC54, also opened but wasn't tolled in the early months.
The TriX more or less parallels NC55, a famously swamped signalized arterial, and is expected to get most of its traffic from that route.
A third L-shaped segment of the TriX adding another 6 miles is due to open early 2013.
Transponders branded NC QUICK PASS (mostly 6B sticker tags from TransCore) have been selling well with close to 30,000 in use.
The TriX is all-electronic and toll rates with the transponder are 2/3rds the charge for BILL BY MAIL when the toller images the license plate and uses the postal service to deliver the bill.