US 1 is a major north-south highway running across Wake County.
US 1 enters Wake County in the southwest, following a four-lane freeway through the towns of Apex and Cary. The freeway connects to several major roads, including NC 540, NC 55, Ten Ten Road, and US 64. US 1 and US 64 briefly run concurrently through eastern Cary before splitting apart at I-40 in Southwest Raleigh. US 64 follows I-40 around the south side of Raleigh, while US 1 follows I-440 around the west and north sides of the city's downtown area. At exit 11, US 1 splits from I-440 and follows Capital Boulevard northeast, running concurrent with US 401. 2.25 miles later, US 401 leaves Capital Boulevard to follow Louisburg Road, US 1 continuing north. After an interchange with I-540 near Triangle Town Center, US 1 reduces to four lanes, leaves Raleigh, and bypasses the town of Wake Forest to the west. US 1 continues north across the Franklin County line, ending the Capital Boulevard designation.
As part of a long-term strategic corridor plan, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) have proposed upgrading a section of US 1 to a freeway between I-540 in Raleigh and Purnell/Harris Roads near the Wake/Franklin County line. Scheduled to begin construction in 2021, the $465 million project widens the corridor to six lanes and would construct or modify interchanges at the following locations:
- Durant/Perry Creek Roads
- Burlington Mills Road
- Falls of Neuse Road/South Main Street
- NC 98
- Business NC 98
- Purnell/Harris Roads
Access to business and neighborhoods along the corridor will be restricted to nearby and proposed frontage roads.