Fortify crews to shift attention to I-40 early in 2015
Posted December 20, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — As construction crews begin putting the finishing touches on the first phase of the Fortify project, which includes a complete repaving of Interstate 440 from the Interstate 40 split to the U.S. Highway 64/264 interchange, they will begin to shift their attention to I-40, North Carolina Department of Transportation officials said Saturday.
Work on the bigger – and more complex – section of the road rebuild has been ongoing for several months, but much of it has happened during the night or at times when traffic is not heavily impacted. That will change in 2015 as crews finish work on I-440 and begin to block off and rip up sections of I-40.
Crews finished the bulk of the paving on I-440 West this week and will begin putting up signs, guardrails and lights in the coming weeks, officials said. Without any bad weather in the next few weeks, three brand new lanes on I-440 should be open by the middle of January.
The same will happen on I-440 East a few weeks later.
Following an extended holiday break, which runs from Dec. 20 through Jan. 5, work will begin gearing up on I-40, officials said.
Work is ongoing on bridges over Hammond Road, Hadely Drive, State Street and Wilmington Street, and in the new year crews will set new girders for some of those structures.
Crews will also begin paving the shoulders on I-40 near Gorman Road so they can be used as travel lanes later in the project.
Following that work, crews will continue to add barrier walls along the rest of the I-40 section of the Fortify rebuild until the entire 8-mile stretch of highway is reduced to a three-lane traffic pattern.
DOT officials have asked local employers for their help to get 30,000 vehicles off the road during peak commute times, which are 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. and 4 to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
State government agencies are proactively helping the road rebuild effort by offering employees ways to avoid I-40 and I-440 during peak travel times through alternate work schedules, alternate work sites, teleworking and alternate forms of transportation, officials said.
The North Carolina Department of Administration is also offering government workers in Wake County a GoPass as part of a pilot program associated with the Fortify project.