ORANGE COUNTY — Hundreds of drivers have been surprised and annoyed with massive, midday traffic tie-ups on Interstate 40. It all started last week when crews started repainting lines on the highway.
Depending on the time of day, the backup can stretch for about 10 miles for drivers traveling eastbound on I-40 from the Orange County line to the Durham Freeway.
It is all because crews areremarking the pavement. TheDepartment of Transportationsays the traffic backups are worse than expected, and apologize for any problems.
"On behalf of the DOT and myself we apologize for that, but we have figured every way we could and there's no way to get by without having a lane closure and a backup," says Sherril Broadaway of the DOT.
The old pavement marking tape is falling apart. Crews are replacing the tape with epoxy paint that is expected to last eight to 10 years.
The good news is the contractor expects to finish the project two weeks ahead of schedule. That means the lane closures should stop as early as next week.
The DOT says crews cannot do the work effectively at night. Delays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. will continue through next week.
Beginning Friday at 9 a.m., motorists can expect delays on westbound I-40 from the Durham Freeway to the Orange County line.