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Landowners in path of Wake Expressway sue NCDOT

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- Property owners whose land and homes lie in the path of the long-planned Southern Wake Expressway have filed a class-action lawsuit against the state, alleging their property rights are being violated.

The NC Turnpike Authority is expected to begin construction in 2014 on the final 30-mile section of the I-540 Outer Loop through southern and eastern Wake County.

The project has languished for 20 years as the NC Department of Transportation was unable to secure funding. Current plans are to build the six-lane expressway from Apex to Knightdale as a toll road.

The lawsuit says the state is taking private property without paying just compensation, as required by the US Constitution. The lawsuit names five plaintiffs, but says up to 125 property owners could eventually be included.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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