Fortify

Minor wreck creates big delays in Fortify zone in south Raleigh

Posted May 20, 2015

A minor accident created major delays Wednesday morning on Interstate 40 West in the Fortify work zone in south Raleigh. The wreck was reported near Gorman Street at about 7:20 a.m., and it created backups for several miles throughout the morning commute.
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— A minor accident created major delays Wednesday morning on Interstate 40 West in the Fortify work zone in south Raleigh.

The wreck was reported near Gorman Street at about 7:20 a.m., and it created backups for several miles throughout the morning commute. At one point, delays stretched from Exit 295 to Exit 306, U.S. Highway 70 Business, and lasted about an hour.

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As Fortify construction crews continue to ramp up their efforts on the I-40 portion of the road rebuild, including major lane closures scheduled for June, similar traffic issues are expected.

North Carolina Department of Transportation officials have urged drivers to think ahead as they prepare for the next phase of the project.

Reducing traffic on the highway will be key in the coming year. Crews will reduce the 8.5-mile stretch of I-40 from U.S. Highway 1 in Cary to the I-40/440 split to three lanes in each direction in the coming weeks, and NCDOT engineers believe the shift could add 30 minutes for each trip through the work zone during peak times.

"I try to avoid it at all cost," Sandra Anderson, of Henderson, said. "It's nerve-wracking. I'm just clutching the wheel the whole time. It's horrible."

NCDOT has invested $12 million in transit options with the goal of getting about 30,000 cars off the road and away from the construction zone during peak times. About 120,000 vehicles go through the area daily.

GoTriangle has added daily express bus service routes between downtown Raleigh and cities in Wake and Johnston counties, and the group has also increased rideshare programs and has been helping NCDOT make local employers aware of commuting alternatives such as teleworking and flexible work schedules.

Work on the Fortify project is expected to be complete in late 2016.

8 Comments

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  • Scott Householder May 20, 2015
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    "I try to avoid it at all cost," Sandra Anderson, of Henderson, said. "It's nerve-wracking. I'm just clutching the wheel the whole time. It's horrible."

    People like this that are scared to drive on the beltline, yet choose to do it anyway, are a huge nuisance and only make a bad (really bad) situation worse.

  • Scott Householder May 20, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    AND 440 should have been widened between South Hills and Wade Ave.

    Seriously, what kind of id!ot planners take out the largest artery of traffic in Raleigh without having a PLAN as to where to route said traffic?

  • Sue Brindle May 20, 2015
    user avatar

    I looked up the "express bus" alternative from Johnston County to Cary. I work within walking distance of the Cary stop. Even so - this option would take at least 2 hours. That is NOT a reasonable alternative.

  • Jamal Jensen May 20, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    "But with the "no new taxes" movement going strong for decades now,"

    It's not a matter of enough taxpayer money. It's a matter of how it's been wasted in this state on things like the 4 or 5 head start programs that have been started over the past 30 years in NC. The effects of the programs diminish to nothing by the time 5th grade rolls around.

    Besides, historically the highway fund has been raided for decades to pay for other state projects.

    See:
    Former NC governor guilty for raiding highway fund, http://www.roadsbridges.com/former-nc-governor-guilty-raiding-highway-fund

  • Greg Past May 20, 2015
    user avatar

    If 90% of the people didn't try to SEE and RUBBER NECK the accident, I'm sure things would move right along. Responders should start putting up some type barrier to block what can be seen.

  • Russ Bullock May 20, 2015
    user avatar

    I think the DOT was well aware this was going to be a nightmare without those other new roads and improvements done first. But with the "no new taxes" movement going strong for decades now, and no money in the coffers to buy the land for those roads, repairing the existing road was the only available option. We use to invest more of our GDP in infrastructure than we do now. The effects are just beginning.

  • Charles Boyer May 20, 2015
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    I could not agree more with your comment. The DOT was not thinking about the headaches they would cause commuters, both in planning the sequence of projects or in the work schedule itself. Then again, that's par for the course for the south side of Wake and Johnston counties...road construction gets a lot of talk and not enough action out of the state government. For example, how many more years are they going to talk about the ROUTE for 540 before they select and start building it?

    Also, on a vital roadway for as many drivers as the area they have under construction, other states would have workers on site 24X7, weather permitting. in order to shorten the timeline. Not in NC, it's apparently normal to dilly-dally and extend projects as long as possible here.

  • Jim Frei May 20, 2015
    user avatar

    What a fiasco. No smart planners at NCDOT any more? The 540 loop should have been finished before this project was started. The Tryon Rd dog leg should have been eliminated before this project started. Ten Ten Rd should have been widened to 5 lanes from NC 50 to Apex before this project started.