No Relief In Sight For I-40 Bottleneck

Posted September 27, 2006
Updated November 10, 2006

— Every day, nearly 150,000 vehicles travel on the 4-mile stretch of highway between U.S. 1 in Cary and Wade Avenue in Raleigh, which causes traffic delays up to 45 minutes for some motorists.

The reason for the delays is that two lanes must handle traffic from a three-lane stretch of roadway on the southern part of the Interstate 440 Beltline and four lanes on I-40 past Wade Avenue.

"It slows me down considerably," said motorist Brock Nelson. "It makes a wait every day. Whether there's an accident or not, there's a big wait -- when there's an accident, it's even worse."

The North Carolina Department of Transportation says other road projects have pushed the widening of a two-lane portion of Interstate 40 in Wake County down the priority list, because there is no funding for it in the state's seven-year road plan.

"It's kind of in between Cary and Raleigh, and that project needs backers," said DOT division engineer Jon Nance. "I think when you run into issues with this is when you try to prioritize this project up against Interstate 540 and 401 and US 1, 64 -- it could just go on for days and days."

But the DOT says if local leaders make widening the section a priority, it could move up on the funding list. And a plan to borrow money against future federal funding could speed up the process, but it could be years before drivers see relief.


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