Local News

I-40 Construction Clogs Major Roads In Triangle

Posted June 12, 2005

— Several construction projects have clogged major roads throughout the Triangle this weekend.

The Department of Transportation shut down all but one lane of westbound I-40 between Highway 751 and Highway 54 in Durham County for a widening project.

The work started Friday night at 8 p.m. and is scheduled to last until 6 a.m. Monday.

The result has been hours of headaches.

"Ten miles an hour," said Angie Pritchard. "We'll move a little, stop, move and stop some more."

The stop and go stretched for at least six miles Saturday.

Carolyn Knapp said it took her family more than an hour to go two miles.

"It's difficult," Knapp said.

Thousands of cars were hitting a bumper-to-bumper backup Saturday before they even hit the construction causing the delays.

Westbound I-40 reduces to one lane at N.C. 751 (Exit 274) as a DOT contractor repairs a bump on a bridge over the New Hope Creek. The bump was the result of widening I-40.

DOT officials recommend motorists follow signs to an alternate route -- N.C. 147 to I-85 South, which will bring travelers back to I-40.

"We should've taken [the detour]," Pritchard said.

Rodney Knapp hoped to make better time getting back to his home in West Virginia. He said, judging by comments on his CB radio, other people have long lost their patience.

"I've got a CB radio," he said. "I'm listening to the truck drivers; it's hard for them.

"It's going to be a long night for us," he added. "We're trying to make it to the southern part of West Virginia."

DOT crews have also reduced the I-440 Outer and Inner Beltline to one lane between I-40 and Capital Boulevard.

The lane closures started Friday at 10 p.m. and run until 6 a.m. Monday.

Also over the weekend, the New Bern Avenue ramp to the Inner Beltline may be closed at times for paving.

DOT officials said they try to pick weekends without big events to do this type of work.

This is the third time they have reduced traffic to one lane during an entire weekend for construction on the I-40 widening project, which is scheduled for completion in September.

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