Detailed Study Alternatives Map
Detailed Study Alternatives Map

Detailed Study Alternatives Map

Public Feedback

NCDOT is holding public meetings and accepting public comments on the Complete 540 Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Details are available here.

Project Fast Facts
  • Status: Projects Under Development
  • County: Wake, Johnston
  • Type of Project: New toll freeway
  • STIP Number: R-2721, R-2828, R-2829

Complete 540

Description and Purpose

The proposed "Complete 540" project, also known as the Southeast Extension, would extend the Triangle Expressway from the N.C. 55 Bypass in Apex to the U.S. 64/U.S. 264 Bypass in Knightdale, completing the 540 Outer Loop around the greater Raleigh area.

Transportation, social and economic demands and mobility considerations are the basis for additional transportation infrastructure in southeastern Wake County. The "Complete 540" project would link the towns of Apex, Cary, Clayton, Garner, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs and Raleigh. In addition to connecting several towns and cities, the project is anticipated to ease congestion on area roadways, including I-440, I-40, N.C. 42, N.C. 55 and Ten Ten Road.

Complete 540 consists of three separate NCDOT projects (R-2721, R-2828, and R-2829) that are combined for the current planning and environmental study. Construction will likely be done in phases that correspond to these three individual projects. Depending on available funding, each project will likely have different construction time lines.

Estimated Cost

The cost of the project will be determined during the project development process. It is anticipated that the project would be funded in phases:

  • R-2721 – N.C. 55 Bypass to U.S. 401
  • R-2828 – U.S. 401 to I-40
  • R-2829 – I-40 to U.S. 64/264 Bypass (I-495)

Latest News and Updates

November 2015: The Federal Highway Administration has approved the Draft Environmental Impact Statement prepared for the Complete 540 project.

The Draft EIS summarizes the field work and technical studies completed for the project’s Detailed Study Alternatives. The document includes a discussion of the potential project impacts to the human and natural environment within the study area. (View the Draft EIS.)

The Federal Highway Administration's approval means NCDOT can hold a public review period for the Draft EIS and conduct public meetings in the project area.

Draft EIS Public Comment and Review

From Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, until Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, NCDOT is collecting public comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, its findings and about the project's Detailed Study Alternatives.

Verbal and written comments can be submitted any of the following ways:

All comments are considered official and are treated equally, regardless of how they are submitted.

To be considered in selection of the Preferred Alternative, public comments should be submitted by Jan. 8, 2016.

Three public meetings, as well as a formal public hearing, have also been scheduled for the following dates and times.

Monday, Dec. 7, 2015
Public Meeting - 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Barwell Road Elementary School
3925 Barwell Road
Raleigh, NC 27610

Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015
Public Meeting - 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Holly Springs High School Cafeteria
5329 Cass Holt Road
Holly Springs, NC 27540

Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015
Public Meeting - 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Public Hearing - 7 p.m. (Watch the hearing online.)
Wake Tech Community College
Student Services Building, Room 213/214
9101 Fayetteville Road
Raleigh, NC 27603

The Draft EIS, along with maps showing the location of the detailed study alternatives, are available for review at the following locations from Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, until Friday, Jan. 8, 2016.

  • NCDOT District Office (Wake County), 4009 District Drive, Raleigh
  • NCDOT Division 5 Office, 2612 N. Duke St., Durham
  • Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, 421 Fayetteville St., Suite 203, Raleigh
  • Holly Springs Department of Planning & Zoning, 128 S. Main St., Holly Springs
  • Fuquay-Varina Planning Department, 401 Old Honeycutt Road, Fuquay-Varina
  • Garner Planning Department, 900 Seventh Ave., Garner
  • Clayton Planning Department, 111 E. Second St., Clayton

Copies of the Draft EIS are available for review from Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, until Friday, Jan. 8, 2016.

  • Knightdale Development Services, 950 Steeple Square Court, Knightdale
  • Holly Springs Community Library, 300 W. Ballentine St., Holly Springs
  • Fuquay-Varina Community Library, 133 S. Fuquay Ave., Fuquay-Varina
  • Honeycutt-Ellington Memorial Library, 100 S. Church St., Clayton
  • East Regional Library, 946 Steeple Square Court, Knightdale

Project Schedule

"Complete 540" Project Schedule*
Draft EIS ApprovedNov. 2, 2015
Draft EIS Review and Public Comment BeginNovember 2015
Public Meetings and Public HearingDec. 7-9, 2015
Draft EIS Review and Public Comment Period EndJan. 8, 2016
Preferred Alternative SelectionSpring 2016
Final EIS ApprovedTBD
Record of Decision PublishedTBD
Construction Contract Awarded2018
*Subject to change.

News Releases

  • Currently, no recent news releases.


November 2015 Complete 540 Draft Environmental Impact Statement published.
2014 Various engineering, planning, and environmental studies were undertaken and completed for the Detailed Study Alternatives.
December 2013 NCDOT announced the alternatives that will be studied in detail in the DEIS. These alternatives are known as the Detailed Study Alternatives.
October 2013 NCDOT presented all alternatives to the public to review and comment on during a series of public meetings. Based on the comments received from the public, state and federal agencies, and the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, NCDOT decided to study all of the recommended alternatives in detail. These alternatives are known as the Detailed Study Alternatives (DSAs) and are shown on the Detailed Study Alternatives Map (August 2014).
September 2013 NCDOT published Draft Alternatives Development and Analysis Report, including list of recommended Detailed Study Alternatives.
July 2013 NCDOT resumed all environmental study activities for the project.
June 2013 North Carolina General Assembly enacted House Bill 10 (Session Law 2013-94) and House Bill 817 (Session Law 2013-183) to remove previous restrictions on studying the Red Corridor. Governor Pat McCrory signed these bills into law allowing NCDOT to resume the environmental study.
December 2012 FHWA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a letter requiring full evaluation of the Red Corridor. This evaluation is required for the project to remain eligible for federal funds and to meet the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The project could not be constructed without meeting these requirements.
March 2011 North Carolina Session Law 2011-7 restricted NCDOT’s ability to evaluate the Red Corridor.
Late 2009 Environmental study began.
1996-1997 In accordance with the NC Transportation Corridor Official Map Act, NCDOT established a protected corridor for the portion of 540 between N.C. 55 Bypass in Apex and I-40 near the Johnston/Wake County line. A protected corridor preserves the location of a new road from encroaching development.

Contact Information

Project Hotline: (800) 554-7849
Mailing Address:
1548 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1548

Resources for Local Property Owners

In many cases, it is inevitable that a certain amount of private property must be acquired. The displacement of homes and businesses is minimized to the extent practicable. The following brochures will answer questions about this process.