Interstate 540 represents the northern half of the outer Raleigh beltway. Western portions of the beltway constitute a toll road south from Interstate 40 to N.C. 55 at Feltonville. The Triangle Expressway connects N.C. 540 with Research Triangle Park and the Durham Freeway (N.C. 147). The I-540 section of the beltway extends east between I-40 near Raleigh Durham International Airport (RDU) and I-87 & U.S. 64-264 outside Knightdale. The highway varies between four and six lanes through RDU Airport, Leesville and east Raleigh.
Interstate 540 North Carolina Highway Guides
Interstate 540 was completed in stages between I-40 near RDU Airport and U.S. 64 & 264 at Knightdale. The first segment opened between Exits 1 and 4 on January 21, 1997; with completion of the route to the Knightdale Bypass (Exit 26) on January 16, 2007. Work on the North Carolina 540 spur between Interstate 40 and North Carolina 55 was completed on July 14, 2007.
Due to funding issues, extensions on the west and south sides of Raleigh were to be built as toll roads. Additionally completion of the Eastern Wake Expressway, between Knightdale and I-40, was delayed. Work om the Southern Wake Expressway east from N.C. 55 to I-40 is ongoing.
Construction extending N.C. 540 south to the December 2011-opened Triangle Expressway (N.C. 147) and U.S. 64 ran through 2012. Further extension of the road southeast to N.C. 55 by Holly Springs followed through December 2012.
Page Updated 12-19-2011.