North Carolina Highway 147
|Maintained by NCDOT|
|Length:||15.7 mi (25.3 km)|
|Existed:||1970 – present|
|South end:||NC 540 in Morrisville|
| I-40 near Durham
US 15 / US 501 in Durham
|North end:||I-85 in Durham|
The route's entire length is a limited access freeway; linking NC 540 in Morrisville with the Research Triangle Park (RTP), Downtown Durham and Interstates 40 and 85. It is a fairly urbanized commuter-route and suffers from peak-traffic during conventional rush hours. Speed limits on the freeway range from 55 mph (89 km/h) to 65 mph (105 km/h).
Its northern terminus with Interstate 85 is a partial interchange, where northbound NC 147 merges onto southbound I-85 and vice-versa. Travelers wanting to go north on I-85 and vice-versa must utilize the nearby U.S. 15-501 freeway.
Though the highway is commonly known as "NC 147" or "147" throughout the state, the highway does have other known names it uses locally in areas.
- Buck Dean Expressway – official name of NC 147 within the city limits of Durham (approved: December 14, 1984).
- Durham Freeway – name given by NCDOT to NC 147 north of I-40 through Durham to its northern terminus at Interstate 85.
- East–West Expressway – original name of NC 147 within the city limits of Durham; it was renamed to Buck Dean Expressway.
- Triangle Expressway – official name of the toll section of NC 147, overlaps with Triangle Parkway.
- Triangle Parkway – name given by NCDOT to the section between NC 540 to I-40.
From NC 540 to Interstate 40, NC 147 is part of the Triangle Expressway, the first toll road in North Carolina. Tolls are collected all-electronically and camera enforced. Tolls are $0.15 per mile with NC Quick Pass or $0.24 per mile for non-NC Quick Pass drivers.
Toll rates as of January, 2013:
|Gantry Location||Axles||NC Quick Pass||Bill by mail|
|Ramp at Hopson Road/Davis Drive||2 axles||$0.30||$0.45|
|North ramps at NC 147 & NC 540||2 axles||$0.65||$1.00|
|South ramps at NC 147 & NC 540||2 axles||$0.82||$1.25|
The Durham Freeway began with a 1962 bond referendum. The first section of the road, completed in 1970 around downtown Durham, was designated Interstate 40. The original section extended from Chapel Hill Street to Alston Avenue and resulted in the destruction of a portion of the Hayti neighborhood as part of urban renewal, though a DOT engineer said the neighborhood likely would have been torn down anyway. The road was later extended west to Erwin Road and southward to where it now meets the current I-40, but the decision was made for I-40 to bypass Durham. The section inside the city was renamed. The road's other names have included East-West Expressway and the I.L. "Buck" Dean Freeway.
In 1979, planners said many of the city's roads needed widening, and the decision was made to extend the freeway to I-85. The first section in 1982 disrupted the Crest Street neighborhood, but the N.C. DOT moved 181 houses instead of tearing them down, an action that resulted in a 1987 third-place Federal Highway Administration award for "historic preservation and cultural enhancement". Eventually, the problems that caused the original I-40 extension to I-85 to be delayed were overcome, and NC 147 was extended through the city. Work began in 1993, and the eastbound lanes opened May 21, 1997. The section connecting the road to I-85 opened July 31, 1998.
On September 6, 2011, the south termini at T.W. Alexander Drive (exit 4) was permanently closed to make way for NC 147's extension to NC 540 in Morrisville; this made I-40 the temporary southern termini for three months. On December 8, 2011, the southern extension was opened. Dubbed the Triangle Parkway, the 3.4-mile (5.5 km) stretch of road is also part of the Triangle Expressway.
There are two future projects involving NC 147. The first is the East End Connector (Currently in planning and environmental study). That project was set to start construction in 2010, but was delayed until after 2012. The second is the NC 147 extension to McCrimmon Parkway, in Morrisville, which is scheduled for Reprioritization.
||Morrisville||McCrimmon Parkway||Proposed extension (unfunded)|
NC 540 to I-40 to I-540 to US 1 – Raleigh, Sanford
|Southbound exit left; Triangle Expressway continues NC 540 south|
||2.5||4.0||2 / 3||Davis Drive / Hopson Road||Signed exit 2 northbound, exit 3 southbound|
|4||T.W. Alexander Drive||Permanently closed as of September 6, 2011|
|4.5||7.2||5||I-40 to NC 54 – Raleigh, Chapel Hill||Triangle Expressway begins; signed as exit 5A (east) and 5B (west)|
|5.5||8.9||6||Cornwallis Road – Research Triangle Park|
|6.5||10.5||7||T.W. Alexander Drive|
US 70 Conn.
|Proposed East End Connector (Currently in planning and environmental study)|
|10.5||16.9||10||Briggs Avenue – Durham Technical Community College|
|11.3||18.2||11||NC 55 (Alston Avenue)|
|11.8||19.0||12A||Fayetteville Street – North Carolina Central University|
US 15 Bus. / US 501 Bus. (Mangum Street/Roxboro Street) – Downtown
|To Durham Bulls Athletic Park|
|12.6||20.3||12C||Duke Street||No southbound exit; To North Carolina Museum of Life and Science|
|13.0||20.9||13||Chapel Hill Street|
To US 70 Bus. / Swift Avenue – Duke University East Campus
|To North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics and Northgate Mall|
|14.3||23.0||15A||Elba Street / Trent Drive||Northbound exit, southbound entrance; to Duke Medical Center|
|14.8||23.8||15B||Hillandale Road / Fulton Street||To Veterans Affairs Medical Center|
|15.7||25.3||16||US 15 / US 501 to I-85 north – Chapel Hill, Duke University West Campus||Signed as exits 16A (north) and 16B (south)|
|17.2||27.7||I-85 south – Greensboro||Northbound exit, southbound entrance|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- American Tobacco Historic District
- Duke University
- Duke University Medical Center
- Durham Bulls Athletic Park
- Durham Performing Arts Center
- North Carolina Central University
- Research Triangle Park
- NCRoads.com: N.C. 145 to 149
- Google Inc. Google Maps – North Carolina Highway 147 (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=N+Carolina+147+N&daddr=Unknown+road&hl=en&ll=35.94327,-78.875656&spn=0.232647,0.445976&sll=36.031818,-78.963042&sspn=0.007262,0.013937&geocode=FdIkIwIdTqtM-w%3BFQrYJQIdYxBL-w&mra=dme&mrsp=1&sz=17&t=p&z=12. Retrieved December 13, 2012.
- "North Carolina Turnpike Authority: Triangle Expressway". Retrieved 2011-12-08.
- "State's first modern toll road opens today". NewsObserver.com. December 8, 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-08.
- "North Carolina Memorial Highways and other Named Facilities". Retrieved 2011-06-19.
- "Toll Rate for Triangle Expressway Set". Retrieved December 8, 2011.
- Mildwurf, Bruce (March 3, 2011). "Toll road to cost 15 to 24 cents a mile to drive". WRAL. Retrieved March 4, 2011.
- North Carolina Turnpike Authority (PDF). Triangle Expressway Phase 3 map (Map). https://www.myncquickpass.com/en/about/expressway_toll_guide.pdf. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
- Bloom, Jonathan (July 26, 1998). "30-year, 12-mile project completed". The Herald-Sun (Durham, NC). p. A1.
- Bloom, Jonathan (August 1, 1998). "Durham Freeway's last leg opens". The Herald-Sun (Durham, NC). p. A8.
- "Durham Freeway's new lanes to ease eastbound travel". The Herald-Sun (Durham, NC). May 21, 1997. p. C1.
- "SECTION OF N.C. 147 IN DURHAM TO CLOSE SEPT. 6". Retrieved 2011-08-19.
- "Crosstown Traffic - RTP commuters: The NC 147 southern spur is closed today, for good". NewsObserver.com. September 6, 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-06.
- "East End Connector". Retrieved 2011-08-19.
- Siceloff, Bruce (March 27, 2005). "Road plan imperils Triangle projects". The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC). p. A1.
- Staff. "Project #U-4763". Project Details. North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 13, 2012.
- Staff. "Project #U-4763A". Project Details. North Carolina Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 13, 2012.
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