Creating a new Durham “loop”

RTA members and partners,

Next year, the long-awaited Interstate 885 connector will open in Durham County. The new freeway link will transform mobility in our region’s central county of Durham — and not just Durham, as we have maintained for more than a decade.

Also known as the East End Connector and the Triangle Connector to I-85, this new linkage will provide a new connection between Research Triangle Park and I-85, and also between the US 70/Bethesda/Brier Creek/North Raleigh areas and Downtown Durham. It will also create a broader linkage between I-85 and US 1 south, as WRAL pointed out in a 2009 story.

The I-885 connector was the highest priority of the Regional Transportation Alliance for several years, prior to its successful advancement to construction in 2015. The regional business community is pleased to see its completion date now being measured in months.

The new I-885 will also advance the development of a new multimodal freeway loop that will encircle Downtown Durham and serve much of Durham County. Consisting of I-885 (existing NC 147 east of Downtown Durham) in the east, I-85 in the north, US 15-501 in the west, and I-40 in the south,  the new loop will provide free-flow mobility across much of Durham, except for the southernmost three miles of US 15-501 in southwest Durham.

Going forward, the regional business community will support the multimodal 15-501 improvement concept, including the recommendations proposed by the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro metropolitan planning organization, which will eliminate virtually every signal on a future Durham “loop” while creating new transit priority lanes.

RTA will continue to support the advancement of travel options for the Durham community and the broader region.

Let’s get moving,


Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA Executive Director

RTA is the voice of the regional business community on transportation


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