Minor wreck creates big delays in Fortify zone in south Raleigh
Posted May 20, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — 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.
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.