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Businesses preparing for next year's I-40/440 traffic jam

Posted December 20, 2012

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— At Raleigh-Durham International Airport, FedEx workers load a plane with packages that could go anywhere in the world within a day.

With just a few days before Christmas, the clock is ticking.

“This is what we live for,” company representative Joe Stephens said. “We really want to do our part to help Santa get everything where it needs to be on that special morning.”

Finding a clear route for FedEx trucks could be a little tougher next Christmas. By then, a massive, $170 million construction project to redesign Interstate 40/440 will have started.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is tearing up 11 miles of the roadway and rebuilding it between U.S. Highway 1 near Cary and U.S. Highway 64-264 in east Raleigh.

The work could reduce traffic to just two lanes in each direction day and night for up to three years.

“Lane closures won't start until late summer or early fall, so we still have nine or 10 months to help people plan,” NCDOT spokeswoman Leah Friedman said.

Businesses preparing for next year's I-40/440 traffic jam Businesses preparing for next year's I-40/440 traffic jam

Friedman is reaching out to businesses, hospitals and local government to help them prepare for the project, and she said FedEx is getting a head start.

“They immediately thought of other places they could land their planes and fan out the trucks from there,” she said.

FedEx drivers also are timing alternate routes through Raleigh. Managers say the early planning is important.

“At the end of the day, this will be a non-event and will be transparent to our customers,” Stephens said.

NCDOT hopes other businesses will take a cue from FedEx and start thinking about ways around the delays. They are encouraging employers to consider flexible schedules or allowing employees to work from home to alleviate traffic during the construction.

The project is scheduled to be completed in 2016.

24 Comments

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  • oleguy Dec 28, 7:09 p.m.

    Its already a parking lot 6 hours a day,, whats new...

  • davidgnews Dec 21, 4:19 p.m.

    One more DoT bottomless pit of bid-rigging.

  • golorealist Dec 21, 3:13 p.m.

    ZOMG!!!11!1!!1carmageddonARRGGHHHH!!!

  • cb100 Dec 21, 1:58 p.m.

    This will be another excuse to create a toll road I'm sure.

  • I know some stuff Dec 21, 11:12 a.m.

    First, who determined that this 11 miles is so dismal, that such a high inconvenience is warranted?
    Second..if indeed such a partial closure is 'planned', then why not create the Alternative Routes FIRST? ie. widen 440 thru Wade, Tryon Rd 4 lanes ALL THE WAY, etc.
    Anybody from DOT care to explain the apparent insanity?

  • NerfHerder Dec 21, 10:57 a.m.

    "When in the world are they going to fix the total disaster that is I-440 where it meets Wade Ave?"

    According to the NCDOT website, that project is in development and scheduled to begin in 2016. I can't wait since I agree, this stretch sucks!

    And to Wolfpack Joe, where does it say anywhere this project has any intentions of making this a toll road?

  • lrakydarb2 Dec 21, 10:07 a.m.

    Only a government run project could take 3 years to tear up/re-buid 11 miles of roads. That is about 4 miles per year or 1 mile every 3 months. Does anyone else see anything wrong about this?

  • exposure102 Dec 21, 9:56 a.m.

    When in the world are they going to fix the total disaster that is I-440 where it meets Wade Ave? Traffic backs up onto 440 ALL the time because of all the traffic trying to exit on a single exit-lane. Then you have the traffic coming on to 440 from Lake Boone Trail and you have to share the same lane. Then the other pain-point is where Wade Ave meets I-40. Sometimes the traffic backup from the Wade/I-40 bottleneck is what causes traffic to extend all the way down Wade Ave onto I-440!

  • Wolfpack Joe Dec 21, 9:52 a.m.

    The new project will soon turn it into a another toll road. 37.5 cents a gallon (one of the highest in the nation) plus $1 per mile to drive anywhere in wake county will soon be a reality.

  • NiceNSmooth Dec 21, 9:50 a.m.

    They should widen U S 1 from Cary to Apex exit 55 that is horable at 5:00.

    Nope you now have this shinny new toll road to use!!!

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