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Traffic Delays Continue After Orange Barrels Gone

Posted April 4, 2007

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— Drivers who thought highway widening projects would improve their daily commute are finding construction-related delays continue months after the projects were declared complete.

Just before Thanksgiving, the state Department of Transportation said major construction was done on the U.S. Highway 1/64  widening project in Cary.

But days before Easter, daily lane closures continue, frustrating drivers.

"I dread coming up here. I only come when I have to," driver Barbara Finch said.

"It's congested every time I come through here," driver Trey Edwards said. "Even when I go on lunch break, it takes me a while. By the time I get back, my lunch break is over."

"It's driving me nuts," driver Rebecca Little said. "It's been like this ever since I moved here, which is, like, six months ago, and it's still not done yet. I have no idea what they're even doing."

DOT engineers said crews have about another month of paving, patching up and detail work to complete. If crews get enough good weather and all goes as planned, the barrels and cones should be gone some time in May, they said.

Similarly, the Interstate 85 widening through Durham was declared complete back in September, but drivers run into daily delays.

Crews were to close the northbound ramp from I-85 to U.S. Highway 70 West  and the northbound ramp from Duke Street to I-85 Wednesday night, for example.

"The clean-up process and the final punch list takes time, so it could be a month or two months of that kind of work to finish up the job," DOT engineer Aaron Earwood said.

27 Comments

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  • El Doggo Apr 6, 2007

    Excellent point ZMAN!!!

  • Z Man Apr 6, 2007

    The DOT pays the contractors incentive bonuses if they finish by a certain date. These incentives are held back if the project runs behind schedule. The contractors and DOT make a farce out of this process by declaring the project 'finished' when the date arrives. The contractors get their bonus and continue to work on the road. Hence costing us taxpayers more money. Eliminate these bonuses or define what 'finished' means.

  • Lizard Paw Apr 5, 2007

    Just make sure you don't double park!

  • gman976 Apr 5, 2007

    I'm going to try getting out and running next time. It seems to work well for some. Maybe I'll get some language lessons or a free trip to Mexico out of the deal too.

  • RIBEYE Apr 5, 2007

    Calm down. If you get a hint that you're being followed for speeding you really should 'abandon ship'. Just get out and run. The cops aren't usually prepared for that. If you stay in the car you are a sitting duck.

  • Corvette Sales Apr 5, 2007

    Operation get speeders is what I was hoping not.

  • Corvette Sales Apr 5, 2007

    I hope not.

  • RIBEYE Apr 5, 2007

    I was a Mark Roberts fan as I used to knock down a few cold ones with him downtown at one of the Irish bars. Then...upon leaving one day he tackled me and punched me in the nose saying that I was not a loyal viewer. Left me in that park downtown in a fetal position. Don't let his calm tv demeanor fool you, the guy is mean. A big Howard Stern fan also.

  • Munchie Apr 5, 2007

    Is there going to be any Operation Get Speeders this weekend? Has anyone heard?

  • DisgustedNC Apr 5, 2007

    I wonder if they keep the construction barrels out there so they can claim a construction area and add fees to speeding tickets they give in that area. I know on 264 they had a stretch going towards greenville that was a construction zone with two or three orange barrels. Funny but it seemed like ther were a lot of state troopers in that supposed "construction zone".

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