Wade Avenue is a major east-west roadway that travels through West Raleigh. The roadway connects I-40 to Capital Boulevard and provides access to Carter-Finley Stadium, the PNC Arena, and the North Carolina State Fair.
Wade Avenue begins at I-40's exit 289 as a four-lane freeway traveling due east. The freeway has an interchange with Edward's Mill Road, which accesses both Carter-Finley and PNC Arena, with access to the State Fair being accomplished via the Blue Ridge Road exit. Half a mile to the east of Blue Ridge Road, Wade Avenue has a partial cloverleaf interchange with I-440, then downgrades to a four-lane boulevard. Traveling through a curvier, hillier route, development on this portion of Wade serves mostly residential complexes, while also forming the northern border of Meredith College. Wade Avenue transitions to an expressway-grade roadway, starting with an interchange at Oberlin Road. As Wade Avenue approaches its eastern terminus, it has an interchange with Glenwood Avenue, where US 70/NC 50 join the highway. Wade Avenue then ends at a trumpet interchange with Capital Boulevard, while US 70/NC 50 follow US 401 south along Capital Boulevard into Downtown Raleigh.
As part of the Capital Boulevard Corridor Study project, the North Carolina Department of Transportation began reconstructing the bridge that carries Wade Avenue across Capital Boulevard in 2016. The bridge, along with another bridge carrying Capital Boulevard across Peace Street were said to be nearing the end of their design lives and needed to be replaced in a timely manner. The ramps connecting Wade to northbound Capital were closed in late 2018 as the state prepared to demolish the old bridge and realign the ramps to connect to the new bridge. The ramp connecting northbound Capital to westbound Wade reopened in December of 2018, while the ramp connecting eastbound Wade to northbound Capital is expected to reopen in April of 2019.
As part of a project that will widen I-440 between I-40 and Wade, NCDOT plans to modify the Wade/I-440 interchange to include flyover ramps connecting to the Hillsborough Street interchange. The construction of the new alignment for the flyover ramps led to the closure of the ramp from I-440 west to eastbound Wade in November 2019; the ramp will remain closed for approximately two years. Construction began in 2019 and is expected to last four years.
A long-term vision by NCDOT calls for the widening of Wade between Interstates 40 and 440 from four lanes to six.