Highway Patrol: Crashes up slightly in Fortify work zone

Posted May 6, 2014

— Although the Fortify construction on Interstate 440 east of downtown Raleigh hasn't created any major safety issues for drivers, the area hasn't been devoid of accidents and delays. 

State Highway Patrol officials told WRAL News Tuesday that there has been a slight increase in the number of collisions on Interstate 40 West near the beginning of the work zone on I-440, and Department of Transportation officials are warning drivers to use extra caution in the area. 

Kevin Lacy, a DOT engineer, said the reduction in the number of travel lanes and the disappearance of the shoulder gives drivers less time to react in the event of a wreck. 

"You get a lot less room to absorb driver error," he said. "Where before you might be able to shy into the next lane and no one's there, since there is only two lanes instead of four, somebody is there."

An accident near the beginning of the work zone on I-40 West created big backups Friday morning, nearly doubling travel times from Garner to downtown Raleigh during the commute. 

Lacy said drivers should slow down, and he pointed to an increase in signs put up by the DOT. 

"We put signs to tell you to slow down. We have law enforcement out there to get you to slow down," he said. "It might be a good idea to slow down a little bit."

Anyone caught speeding in the work zone will add $250 to their speeding ticket. 

In the event of a minor wreck or breakdown in the Fortify zone, follow these DOT tips: 

  • When an accident involves injuries, call 911 and remain in your car with flashers on.
  • When an accident does not involve injuries, call 911 and drive to the nearest exit. Don't stop in the construction zone.
  • If you see an accident, slow down, drive around the wreck if possible and call 911.

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  • Johnny Friedrich May 6, 2014
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    People need to simply follow the rules of the road and be cautious when they drive in this construction zone. Remember this, when you do not follow the rules of the road your not only putting your life in danger but others that you can either kill yourself or another. Be smart!! would you want someone to kill you, your family member or your friend. Also I think the local police need to step up patrols and ticketing in the construction zone and every where in the RDU area. Drivers have gone crazy because there is NO ENFORCEMENT BY LAW ENFORCEMENT and you can see that in the way people drive in our area.

  • sunshine1040 May 6, 2014

    Put down the phone computer no matter where you are walking or driving and pay attention to where you are going.

  • Obamacare returns again May 6, 2014

    This is a very dangerous place to apply makeup, read the newspaper or text folks. Put everything down and pay attention inside the construction zone.