Fortify

Daytime closures during weekend will help crews finish Fortify lane shifts

Posted January 31

— Although weather has continued to slow the progress of the installation of lane closures associated with the Fortify project on Interstate 440 east of downtown Raleigh, construction crews will get a break this weekend because state transportation officials plan to let them close lanes during the daytime.

Crews from Granite Construction asked for and received special permission from DOT to reduce traffic to two lanes on I-440 East near the Interstate 40/440 split Saturday and Sunday to allow crews to prep the shoulder to become a travel lane during the bulk of the project. 

Crews will shift lanes at about 9 p.m. Friday night, and they hope to finish their milling and paving work by 5 a.m. Monday. 

Monday night, crews will start the process of installing orange barrels on I-440 East from the split to U.S. 64/264, a nearly 3-mile stretch. The following week, concrete barriers will replace the barrels, setting up a traffic shift that will reduce I-440 East to two lanes.

Work on the Fortify project began in December, with lanes being reduced on I-440 West between the Interstate 40/I-440 interchange and Poole Road.

Since then, crews have battled numerous delays as they attempt to finish westbound lane closures to the U.S. Highway 64/264 split and then begin closing lanes on eastbound I-440 between U.S. 64 and the I-40/440 split.

Weather permitting, crews will be able to finish installing lane closures in westbound lanes by Sunday night, officials said. 

Crews will also likely install a temporary bridge over I-440 East that will allow construction vehicles to move around the work zone without impacting travel lanes. If all goes to plan, there will be a 15-minute overnight closure of I-440 East next week to allow construction workers to set bridge girders in place. 

The quick closure is not expected to have a big impact on traffic.

As soon as lane closures on I-440 East and West are installed, and orange barrels are replaced with concrete barriers, the big work begins.

Crews will work around the clock to cut out the interstate and rebuild it piece by piece.

Once that section of I-440 is replaced, the crews move on to the bigger piece of the Fortify project – replacing pavement on the stretch of I-40 that circles south of downtown Raleigh.

That work should begin early next year and continue into 2016.

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