U.S. Route 64 is one of the two primary east/west highways running through Raleigh. Very few motorists actually refer to the roadway as US 64, as the majority of the route through Wake County runs concurrent with an Interstate.
US 64 enters Wake County east from Chatham County along a four-lane divided expressway with partial control of access. The section that runs through Apex is a superstreet, while the section that runs through Cary has frequent at-grade intersections, with the only interchanges being at Kelly Road, NC 540, NC 55, and Salem Street. US 64 runs through an area with heavy retail development and has several signalized intersection before reaching the US 1 freeway. US 64 then turns to the north to follow US 1 to the I-40/I-440 interchange in Southwest Raleigh. US 64 follows I-40 along the south side of the city, then splits onto I-440/I-87 at I-40's exit 301. After two miles, I-87/US 64 take exit 14 to a seperate freeway concurrency with US 264 as it bypasses the towns of Knightdale, Wendell, and Zebulon. I-87 ends at exit 14 in Wendell, while US 264 splits from US 64 at exit 436 in Zebulon, US 64 continuing northeast out of Wake County on its way to I-95 in Rocky Mount.
FUTURE I-87 and Other Projects
US 64 east of Wendell to US 17 in Williamsboro is slated to be overlapped by a future extension of I-87. The completed segment of I-87 currently connects I-40 to US 64 Business in Wendell and is up to modern Interstate standards. Over the next two decades, the rest of the US 64 freeway will be designated as I-87 once the roadway is upgraded to Interstate standards, which will mostly involve widening the shoulders and installing more resillient median barriers.
For several years, the North Carolina Department of Transportation has been planning improvements to a section of US 64 between the railroad overpass west of Laura Duncan Road in Apex and the US 1/Tryon Road interchange in Cary. The $113.8 million project proposes adding interchanges to Laura Duncan Road and Lake Pine Drive, constructing parallel frontage roads connecting to existing retail and residential facilities, installing superstreet intersections, and adding lanes. Work will begin in late 2022.
In May 2019, NCDOT held a public meeting regarding current and future roadway improvement projects in Raleigh and surrounding municipalities. One of the projects will redesign the interchanges between Walnut Street and the Crossroads shopping center entrance in Cary as well as the interchange at I-40 and I-440 in southwest Raleigh. The project seeks to create a safer entrance to the shopping center and separate freeway through traffic from mall traffic. Construction on the $151 million project will begin in 2022 in addition to another project that will add lanes to I-40 from I-440 to Lake Wheeler Road; this project will cost an additional $27 million.