Local News

Construction to clog interstate in Raleigh for three years

Posted August 10, 2012

— The state Department of Transportation is gearing up to repair an 11.5-mile stretch of highway in Raleigh, a project that will take about three years to complete and cost an estimated $168 million.

Construction will begin in the spring or summer of 2013 on what will be the biggest road project ever undertaken in the Triangle.

The project involves repairing pavement on Interstate 40 between the Jones Franklin Road overpass and the exit to Interstate 440/U.S. Highway 64 and on I-440 between I-40/U.S. 64 and just north of U.S. Highway 264. Work in this area since 2007 was just a temporary solution to extend the life of the highway until a larger, more comprehensive project could be funded.

DOT officials said the existing 30-year-old pavement needs to be completely removed and replaced. Considering the old pavement is up to two feet deep, the interstate has five lanes in some places and work cannot be done in cold temperatures or rain, the project will be time-consuming.

During construction, auxiliary lanes, which connect ramps between interchanges, will be added as safety measures. The DOT will attempt to keep at least two lanes open while work is in progress, but heavy delays and backups are expected daily. Short-term work on certain sections of pavement might require temporary closures, but these will be scheduled to have minimal impact on traffic and will be announced in advance.

NCDOT recommends using the following alternative routes, as there will not be marked detours:

  • From the west, I-40 East to Wade Avenue (Exit 289) to I-440 East back to I-40
  • I-40 East to I-540 East (Exit 283) to US 64/US 264 East to US 264 East to Interstate-95 South back to I-40 and reverse from US 64/264 (suggested for I-40 through traffic and commercial trucks)

In short, drivers can expect delays, although how much of a delay depends on the time of day, how many lanes are open, the amount of traffic and any accidents in the area. Once the project gets underway drivers can find more information and updates on the NCDOT project website and on Twitter.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • kristy5 Aug 13, 2012

    Our lawmakers and people making these decisions at the good ole DOT don't have to drive on this stretch of road to go to and from work during peak traffic times....'epic fail' is right!

  • dphuff Aug 13, 2012

    I think it should be called "epic fail" why in the world would they do this before completing 540 to help reduce some of the traffic. Is this not common sense???

  • csnord Aug 13, 2012

    Sorry I missed the opportunity to submit some names for this project. The top three I can think of are; Train-wreck, Soup-sandwich, and Albatross. This is more nit-wittery on the part of the DOT. It took them a decade to get the resolve and the funding to add a lane to I-40 between US1 and Wade Avenue, now they're going to hamstring beach-goers, commuters, freight carriers and commerce in general for three years. Unforgivable!

  • 7birdman Jul 24, 2012

    Please do a better job of re-doing the bridges on the southern belt-line. Every time you cross a bridge its like hitting 2x4's in the road.

  • Bendal1 Jul 23, 2012

    First off, NCDOT is using asphalt to replace the concrete pavement because asphalt is a lot cheaper than concrete. Plus, the concrete takes days to cure before traffic can drive on it again; asphalt can be driven on within hours after it is poured.

    Second, the pavement on this part of I-40 is ancient, and carrying traffic volumes it never was designed to handle. It's a miracle it hasn't turned to gravel from the pounding; no one 30 years ago had any idea that I-40 would carry 100,000+ vehicles per day here. I had the project repaving this area a few years ago and remember being told it was a bandaid until the money was there to do more.

    Third, no, they won't rip all of it up at one time and rebuild it. No contractor has the manpower or equipment to do that. They'll work on this project in segments, and maintain a couple of lanes of traffic while they do it. That's why it is going to take so long, actually; if they didn't have to keep I-40 open it would take a lot less time.

  • muggs Jul 20, 2012

    pbjbeach,Not questioning your knowledge but just who in the end is responsible,the contractor who has some type of warranty built in their price,or are we responsible after a certain time frame passes,I really come from a building trade background that most warranties are limited to materials and labor the of road construction warranties must be similiar?

  • pbjbeach Jul 20, 2012

    asphalt plant mixtures when delivered to the roadway are supposely too be in the range of 285 to 315 degrees an they are supposely to be wraped up under tarps to prevent the intrustion of water/rain an the lost of heat from these aspahlt mixtures. the fact of it all is that they are all being intentionaly desigend to fail based upon the smaller size of the aggregates that are being incorporatedin to the new aspahlt mixtures just ot an aid these contractors in obtaining a much, much much quicker turn around time for the replacement of these currently utlized aspahlt mixtures does one out there remeber the thank you

  • pbjbeach Jul 20, 2012

    less you forget these cureren bathc of state highway so called engineers want even acknowledge that there is any such thing as common sense these day for they all think that if you do not have a dgeree fron nc state unversity then you dont know what you are talking about an that in all probablity you are crazy in the first place to their way of thinking. in my own personal estimation it was one hughe big mistake the day that the ncdot swithc for the use of career engineer to degreed engineers for in most case th e career highway engineer has a lot more an varied source of knowledge an more overal experience to better handle the job than a degreed engineer fresh out of college without hardly any form of actual field experienc to draw off of or to base his judgement upon in the first place thank you

  • truebrowning132 Jul 20, 2012

    The reason there are so many issues with our roads is because the government goes with the cheapest work they can find. Then later on down the road where the lack of quality we paid for finally shows through its has horrible consequences.

    But places over seas like France hold their contractors responsible for the lifetime of the road. If the road ever needs any repairs due to workmanship the contractor must fix it out of their own pocket. So naturally the contractor will make sure to the work is done right the first time to keep from having to make costly repairs such as this.

  • pbjbeach Jul 20, 2012

    muggs: read pbjbeach posting on here on this subject anthat will explain the whole situation with regards to the sorry quality of the current aspahlt plant mix hot mix aspahlt that is being allowed to be incorporated into the state highway projects as you stateit is all about the dollars an not the quality of the work that is supposely to being performed by these state highway contracting enitys across this entire state thank you