First parts of Fortify paving nearly complete on I-440W
Posted June 24
Raleigh, N.C. — Summertime heat has arrived in North Carolina, and generally drier conditions have helped Fortify construction crews get ahead of schedule as they work to rebuild an 11.1-mile stretch of Interstates 40 and 440 on the south side of Raleigh.
Granite Construction is about 25 percent done with the project overall, and drivers on I-440 West between the I-40 split and U.S. Highway 64/264 will begin using newly paved travel lanes – the first completed since work began – after the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Crews are also continuing paving work on I-440 East, and traffic will be shifted onto new lanes on that side of the road later in the summer, allowing paving to begin on the outside lanes of the highway.
North Carolina Department of Transportation engineer Dennis Jernigan said drivers have adjusted to the new traffic patterns well. About 13 percent of drivers along I-40 in Garner are using alternate routes or other ways to get to work.
"The peak hour has stretched out somewhat," he said of the morning rush hour. "People are going in a bit earlier or a bit later, and the transit options we've added are being used."
Once the paving on I-440 is done, crews will shift their attention to I-40, which makes up the bulk of the project.
DOT officials said major work on I-440 could begin as early as October, about a month ahead of schedule. Crews will begin working near the U.S. Highway 1 interchange in Cary and move eastward toward the I-40/440 split. Engineers expect significant delays on I-40 once work begins.
"Once we get to the work on I-40, I-440 should be complete," Jernigan said. "That may be an option people want to consider."
The work on I-40 will reduce traffic to three lanes in both directions throughout the remainder of the project. Fortify work is scheduled to be complete by the fall of 2016.