Traffic

I-40 widening project almost done

Posted April 25, 2011

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— Highway crews on Monday began removing cones to open new lanes on Interstate 40 between Raleigh and Cary.

The $49 million project to expand I-40 between Jones Franklin Road and Harrison Avenue started in June 2009. One lane is being added in each direction to remove the daily bottleneck where the highway narrows from three to two lanes.

State Department of Transportation crews will work overnight in the coming weeks to open the new lanes one mile at a time.

The DOT has issued a warning about a change in traffic patterns. Starting Tuesday morning, drivers getting on eastbound I-40 from U.S. Highway 1/64 will not have a lane for free-flowing traffic onto I-40.

"Now, they're going to have to yield, and we want to get the word out to make sure that people are aware of this condition, that they pay a lot closer attention to this condition and that they slow down and look over their shoulder and realize they're now going to have to yield," DOT engineer Dennis Jernigan said.

Weather permitting, crews are scheduled to finish the eastbound highway this week and the westbound lane next week. The entire project is expected to be complete by June 30.

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  • Pseudonym Apr 28, 2011

    Quote from SnoopDogg: "1 other idea I had is to put some sort of concrete barrier,on I-40 West, from about a mile east of the 1/64 intersection up to the intersection, separating the lanes exiting onto 1/64 from I-40 West."

    No, that won't work. The problem is the volume of traffic having to slow down from 70 MPH to about 25 to make the curve to US 1 South. The only thing that will fix that is a 2 lane flyover designed for high speeds.

    But then those power lines would have to go.

  • SnoopDogg Apr 27, 2011

    I agree with phansbury. Absolutely foolish to make a highway 4 lanes wide, but paint the lines so you have a super wide shoulder. I wouldn't think it would cost even a cent more to just paint the lines so that there are 4 lanes each way. That way, the traffic coming from US 1/64 onto I-40 East won't have to merge. That area is going to have major problems now.

    1 other idea I had is to put some sort of concrete barrier,on I-40 West, from about a mile east of the 1/64 intersection up to the intersection, separating the lanes exiting onto 1/64 from I-40 West. This would stop people from cutting in and out of the exit lane, which is what snarls traffic on I-40 West in the afternoons. The widening project will NOT help with this problem, as the widening starts AFTER the backup starts. They should have widened further east.

  • phansbury Apr 26, 2011

    I can't believe these dolts have toiled away for over 1 1/2 years just to add ONE LANE. Would have been a lot cheaper in the long run, no to mention better for everyone involved, to add 2 lanes.

    Unfreaking beliveable.

  • Frank Downtown Apr 26, 2011

    The problem is that everyone is on their cell phones and trying to drive and eat....

  • gman007 Apr 25, 2011

    US-1 North to I-40 East is OK, but US-1 North traffic to I-40 West has to switch lanes with the I-40 West to US-1 South traffic. I've seen that get ugly in the morning.

  • luv2surffish2 Apr 25, 2011

    why do east first.. west always seems to me the worst.. and whichever they do .. 1 mile at a time aint gonna cut it...typical dot fiasco with no lane going form 1 north to 40 east... gotta stop and ease in... folks that aint gonna work either
    fix it all then open it up

  • Road-wearier Apr 25, 2011

    I have $5 that says that a new bottleneck will form at I-40 eastbound where the merge has to occur...