DURHAM, N.C. — The orange-and-white barrels are gone, and the concrete barriers have been taken away. At last, the Durham County stretch of eastbound Interstate 40 has three open lanes of traffic.
The $52 million state Department of Transportation project added one lane in each direction of I-40 in an attempt to reduce the bottleneck through Durham County, although traffic during construction brought plenty of groans.
The project began in January 2002, with the additional westbound lane opening in October.
California-based Granite Construction Company also added a permanent concrete barrier to the median to keep vehicles from crossing into head-on traffic.
Although the three new lanes are open, there's still work to be done. Because the weather's turned cold, permanent pavement markings will have to wait. And because it remains a work zone, the speed limit will stay at 55 miles per hour for now.