Crews nearly done with I-440 part of Fortify project
Posted April 3, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — Work continues in the Fortify zone in southeast Raleigh, and warmer weather has allowed crews from Granite Construction to close in on finishing the Interstate 440 section of the massive project.
The work to rebuild I-440 between the Interstate 40 split and U.S. Highway 64/264 is complete, save a top layer of smooth asphalt that serves as a finishing touch, state Department of Transportation officials said Friday.
Crews are also working to complete repaving work on I-440 East in the same stretch. DOT spokesman Steve Abbott said they hope to have the rebuilt portion of I-440 completely open within a few weeks.
"We're going to start putting that final surface down on the westbound side," he said. "It's a much smoother, permanent surface. Then (crews will) switch to I-440 East and put down the permanent surface on there."
Once they complete the smaller section of the project, crews will shift their attention to I-40 between the split and the U.S. Highway 1 interchange in Cary.
Additional lane closures and traffic shifts will begin in the next month. Abbott said the closures will be done gradually so that the thousands of drivers that use the stretch of highway south of Raleigh can adjust.
"It will be a gradual process, not one night," he said.
Once lane closures are in place over the summer, drivers could see up to 30-minute delays through the work zone.
DOT officials want to get 30,000 vehicles off the road every day to cut down on congestion during the Fortify project, and officials hope buses are part of the solution.
The state is spending $12 million to offer more public transit options – including buses - during the project to rebuild 11.5 miles of Interstate 40/440.
The Johnston County Express, which takes people from the Cleveland area to downtown Raleigh, started in 2013, just before the first phase of Fortify.