Local News

Traffic shift aims to shorten travel time near Clayton Bypass

Posted September 14, 2011
Updated September 21, 2011

Orange barrels / highway construction generic

— The North Carolina Department of Transportation began a traffic pattern test Wednesday morning on I-40 West near the Clayton Bypass in an effort to improve travel time and safety. The test, which shifted traffic one lane to the right and eliminated one lane, created delays on I-40W early Wednesday. By late morning, however, some of those backups had eased. 

The traffic shift eliminates the third lane that motorists have been using to pass backed up traffic during heavy volume times. Vehicles attempting to merge back into I-40 West traffic from the third lane have been creating additional delays. Engineers hope that the new pattern will improve traffic flow despite closing a lane in that stretch of I-40. 

Traffic will shift back to the existing alignment as the third lane ends. The test, which will last about six weeks, could become the permanent pattern if traffic flow improves. North Carolina Department of Transportation workers put portable signs on I-40 West and the Clayton Bypass this week to direct traffic in that area. 


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  • aishadeai Sep 22, 2011

    I believe this is the worst thing they can do. I don't take the bypass in the morning because it is so packed they should have added the third lane all they way to Garner. It was impossible for road to go from two lanes to four lanes then back to two lanes. They need to open up all lanes. SN people would not use that third lane if the people on 40 would let people get in.

  • Disabled Vet Sep 21, 2011

    There is a simple way to solve this. Use your gps, type in your destination and just select "least highway use". If you don't have a gps, use your cell phone, nearly all have navigation in them. See, problem solved:-)

  • MudLife Sep 21, 2011

    I am NOT happy about this. The third lane was my pass lane on the way home. I don't see how its gonna "improve" traffic. The right lane is smaller and the left lane is bigger all they did was elimnate one lane to slow traffic even more. Better use my east bound third lane as much as possible cause i'm sure it's next.

  • BrightLight Sep 21, 2011

    The behavior GetRight points out happens but is not the source of the problem. It exacerbates the problem but it did not create it. If all the "rush-hour" commuters were on their best behavior, which they should be, the basic problem would still exist in that area. In 12+ years of driving that commute, I have seen lots of bad behavior on any given day. I will confess to having had a little "road rage" at one time or another myself. The problem, and the frustration it generates, over the long-term is the result of bad planning or good planning not executed, period. The only thing that will fix the problem is a properly planned and executed highway infrastructure project. Good luck on that anytime soon.

  • christylaf Sep 21, 2011

    I don't have to pretend or hide from anything or anybody!! I just don't understand someone that WANTS my personal information. You could be some kind of psycho killer, and since you make a habit of seeing who has profiles and who doesn't I would be suspicious of YOU!!!! I think GOLO should block YOU for that very reason. You started this whole thing by commenting smartly directly about me. You send me your personal info and I will send you mine!!! GOLO needs to remove you for the fact that you WANT to stalk people's profiles!

  • johnstonredneck Sep 21, 2011

    Christylaf...I don't have any idea who told you that there was a target on my back, but give it a rest. You have done shown that you are going to hide behind you computer and pretend to be a big, bad person(?). The only thing you sre accomplishing is drawing negative attention to yourself.

  • christylaf Sep 21, 2011

    @johnstonredneck, GetRight is absolutely correct, but as far as YOUR OPINION regarding them being the ONLY person that is correct today, that is YOUR opinion. EVERYONE else on here ALSO has valid points. Open your mind and stop living up to your johstonredneck name!

  • johnstonredneck Sep 21, 2011

    GetRight you are the FIRST and ONLY person on here all day to hit the nail on the head! Thank You

  • kevboom Sep 21, 2011

    Much needed. Definitely a bottleneck. Any time you have two lanes opening to three, and then immediately back down to two, it creates a bottleneck during times of rush. North Carolina is notoriously bad for this type of design. The stretch of I-85 between Charlotte, Concord, and Salisbury, changes its number of lanes multiple times, and anyone who drives that disaster of a road, knows the perilous effects. At least this time the DOT admitted their mistake and fixed it! Thank you!

  • GetRight Sep 21, 2011

    I am of the opinion that most traffic delays during heavy volume are caused by selfish driving habits more than by the volume itself. It is usually the result of 2 primary causes: merging and exiting.

    Merging - when drivers try to push their way to the front using the acceleration lane of an on ramp or the "lane ends" lane (ex: Hwy 147 south merging into I-40 East) it causes those in the "correct" lane to try to squeeze them out. Both behaviors create significant delays. Those entering the hwy must modulate their speed to coincide with available openings & those on the hwy must let them in.

    Exiting - I don't use the Clayton Bypass during peak times but have occasion to use I-40 E near Wade Ave in the eve rush hour. Those who stay on I-40 too long and try to merge at the last moment add to delays more than they know (or care).

    Common courtesy and mutual respect (not to mention HANG UP & DRIVE!!!) on the road will go a very long way toward smooth traffic flow.