Winter weather puts paving on hold in Fortify work zone

Posted March 4, 2015

— Winter weather has wreaked havoc on school and work schedules in the last two weeks, and it's also slowed the work pace in the Fortify work zone on the east and southeast sides of Raleigh.

Crews working to finalize travel lanes in both directions on Interstate 440 have had to put paving work on the back burner thanks to wintry precipitation and below-average temperatures, according to North Carolina Department of Transportation spokesman Steve Abbott.

"It has impacted it in terms of paving," he said. "They can make up for that, maybe, by working some Sundays they weren't planning to. Sort of like school days. You can fill in those days."

All three travel lanes of I-440 in the work zone have been open since February, but a final touchup of the pavement – which will include new lane markings – is yet to be completed. That work will be done at night so it doesn't interfere with traffic, officials said.

On I-440 East, crews are hoping to finish paving and open up a third travel lane in late March. They will also be working on the Interstate 495/U.S. Highway 64/264 interchange and the Crabtree Creek bridge.

Crews have also yet to install new lighting on both sides of the highway.

Work on the Interstate 40 portion of the project has continued despite the cold, as crews continue to prep shoulders to become travel lanes between U.S. 1 in Cary and the I-440 split in southeast Raleigh.

Abbott said I-40 lanes through Raleigh will likely be closed during the late spring or early summer.

"It will be slowly but surely on both sides. It'll be late May or early June before the whole thing is closed in," Abbott said.

Once the lanes are closed, Abbott said there could be 30-minute delays on either side of I-40 during rush hour in and around Raleigh.

That's an extra hour commute each day. That's the minimum probably," he said. "(Drivers) need to start planning out a little bit."

The Fortify project is scheduled to be completed sometime in 2016.


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