Local News

I-40 Detour Sends Drivers Into More Congestion

Posted April 24, 2007

— To ease congestion associated with the I-40 repaving project, the Department of Transportation set up a detour. But that new route might have been a mistake, DOT officials said.

DOT asked drivers to take the Durham Freeway to I-85 to get back onto I-40 and miss the construction. But construction was also taking place on that stretch of I-85. The two projects had an unplanned meeting Sunday night.

Driver Kevin Epps said he took the detour expecting a smooth ride, but he was stopped in his tracks in another construction zone.

“It was horrible,” Epps said. “I went through it. It was just a huge mess. I just ended up having to turn back around ... I didn't even go where I was really planning on going. I just didn't feel like dealing with it.”

DOT engineers say they're sorry drivers like Epps are upset, but they did not intend to detour people from one back up into another.

“It's unfortunate that it happened, but I believe that it was from accidents as opposed to construction, and we're going to do everything we can to monitor our impacts to make sure it does not impact these detours,” said DOT Engineer Aaron Earwood.

The DOT says drivers need to be aware. Even though I-85 is the I-40 detour, it is still an active construction zone.

The I-40 and I-85 project engineers will stay in close coordination to hopefully avoid another detour into a delay, officials said.

DOT officials still say I-85 to the Durham Freeway is the best bet to avoid I-40 paving delays.


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  • Bob Sidel Apr 26, 2007

    yeah seems like a lack of communication, although mistakes will always be made and in the DOTs case, 5000 people driving in the workzone see it and the rest hear about it in the media. Its funny though, people on here whine about sitting in traffic for an extra 15 minutes, but they have no problem wasting 15 minutes typing a stupid comment on here, your time must not be that important. Someone commented wanting to know where to sign up for a DOT job, they must of recently hit the unemployment line for burning the french fries?

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Apr 26, 2007

    Another action committed by our incompetant DOT.

    Only in North Carolina do they build freeways to nowhere in rural Eastern North Carolina while major metropolitan areas are told the only solution is toll roads.

    Amazingly incompetant state.

  • retchet Apr 24, 2007

    I don't understand. If you were going from Raleigh on I-40 and took the Durham Bypass you would come out on I-85 beyond the highway work. The Durham Bypass connects to I-86 South/West approximately one mile after the construction. If you took Hwy 70 (Miami Blvd) you would have enter into the construction area.

  • Dreamin of Disney World Apr 24, 2007

    quick question..what does it take to get one of these "boobs" fired? I mean, how big a screw-up do they have to be? Seems like once you're hired, you're in there for life, doesn't matter how big a jerk you are. Jeez...where do I sign up??

  • bbq_lover Apr 24, 2007

    Must be nice to have a job where you can screw up repeatedly & have complete job security. What a joke!

  • Road-wearier Apr 24, 2007

    Absolutely amazing.

    The left hand has no clue what the right hand is doing. Don't ANY of those NCDOT people watch the news? Wouldn't one of them take a smidgen of initiative and call his counterpart on the other project and try to do a little coordination up front instead of making pathetic canned responses afterward? "[W]e're going to do everything we can to monitor our impacts" - yeah right. NCDOT has been messing around on 1/64 months after the pavement was finished, and >still< doesn't have the streetlights in the median powered up. If my projects in private industry went like most NCDOT projects I'd have been on the street years ago.

  • ladyblue Apr 24, 2007

    No wonder the original pavement job was so messed up. These people can't even figure the correct way to detour traffic. This is ridiculous. You'd think with common sense and both being major interstates, they would have a central calendar to know which interstates in area are being worked on. Heck the news tells you that sometimes. It's things as this I say needs to be addressed as unsatisfactorily work and these people reprimanded or fired. Taxpayer's can't keep shelling out bad money after bad.

  • lgboro Apr 24, 2007

    Must be the same "engineers" that oversaw the first multi million dollar mess.

  • Pilot Apr 24, 2007

    Is there ANYONE in the DOT who has a brain? Total incompetence rules. Can't seem to get out of their own way. Reminds one of the Bungling Baffoons at the Wake BOE!

  • FloydRTurbo Apr 24, 2007

    The NC DOT is the TV show "The Office" ..... a bunch of Keystone Kop bungling bureaucrats forever stapling their ties to their desk blotters.