Under the Dome

Wake lawmakers split on interstate loop bill

Moving to erase a law that has stopped progress on the next leg of the 540 Outer Loop, two Wake County House members filed a bill Wednesday to allow study of the Red Route option – which would bulldoze parks and neighborhoods in Garner.

But Garner’s new senator said he would oppose the legislation. “I can’t support a bill that will approve study of a route that we don’t intend to fund – and will go straight through the middle of one of the towns that I represent,” said Sen. Chad Barefoot, a Wake Forest Republican elected in November, whose district includes Garner. The bill was filed Wednesday by Reps. Paul Stam of Apex and Nelson Dollar of Cary, both Republicans. Barefoot is Stam's former legislative aide.

Wake County leaders and state Department of Transportation officials favor the Orange Route, south of Garner, as the path for extending the six-lane 540 Outer Loop expressway across southern Wake. A 2011 law forbids DOT to build or even study the Red Route. Read more here.

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