540 On-Ramp Signals — Ready for the Restart

As Raleigh and the Triangle area have continued to grow in population, our traffic has also grown. To combat this rising issue, NCDOT has installed North Carolina’s first on-ramp signals along the westbound entrances to I-540 in North Raleigh.

On-ramp signals, that help regulate or “meter” the traffic entering a freeway, can help protect the flow on the mainline roadway during peak periods. The on-ramp signals, which were turned off two years ago at the onset of the pandemic, are being reactivated next week, and are slated to operate during the morning peak periods (7 am – 9 am).

On-ramp signals function similarly to a normal traffic light. When they are activated, vehicles on the ramp must stop when the signal is red and wait until it turns green before proceeding to the freeway. Only one or two vehicles are allowed to proceed at a time, making it easier for on-ramp traffic to merge seamlessly into the freeway mainline flow. 

There are currently four on-ramp signals along 540 that will be restarted next week for westbound I-540. Traveling from east to west, they are:

  • Falls of Neuse Road (Exit 14)
  • Six Forks Road (Exit 11)
  • Creedmoor Road (Exit 9)
  • Leesville Road (Exit 7)

The on-ramp signals were previously operational for over two years prior to the pandemic. A research report by ITRE at NC State University found several benefits from the initial installation on I-540 westbound, including:

  • 9% decrease in recurring congestion
  • 12 minute decrease in duration of peak period
  • up to 2 minute decrease in drive time per day

NCDOT believes that the on-ramp signals will again help ensure a continuous smooth flow of traffic during morning peak periods. NCDOT will continue to monitor the on ramp signals and make any adjustments.

To learn more about on-ramp signals please visit the NCDOT on-ramp signals webpage.


Lets Get Moving,

Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA Executive Director

RTA is the voice of the regional business community on transportation

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