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Wake Mayors Seek Repeal Of 540 Route Ban

A group of Wake County mayors is asking the legislature to repeal a law that bans a possible route for the rest of highway 540. The panel voted Wednesday to put the so-called "Red Route" back on the table after federal regulators said they would cut funding for the project if the state does not allow the DOT to study all possible routes. That proposal has been unpopular among the planning board. It would take 540 through Garner rather than around the south side of the town. Most mayors say they voted to repeal the Red Route ban in order to get the funds back. But Garner mayor Ronnie Williams says he understood the Red Route was always off the table.

Ronnie Williams: "What happened (Wednesday) was totally unnecessary because the transportation planners have said the Red Route will never be built. With every bit of strength I've got in me, I can't figure out why you would study a route that you're not going to build. It's a waste of public money."

Williams says the route would displace too many residents and essentially split his town in two. The group also recommended adding more possible routes to connect Apex to Garner, Clayton and Knightdale.

Will Michaels is WUNC's General Assignment Reporter and fill-in host for "Morning Edition"
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