Fewer drivers on I-40 limit Fortify delays

Posted October 30, 2015 3:07 p.m. EDT
Updated October 30, 2015 7:20 p.m. EDT

— The delays the North Carolina Department of Transportation predicted would add 30 minutes to a cross-town trip have not materialized in south Raleigh, in part, because drivers are taking alternate routes to avoid construction on Interstate 40.

For weeks, traffic along I-40 in south Raleigh between Interstate 440 and U.S. Highway 1 has been reduced to three lanes while crews tear up and rebuild the surface of the roadway.

DOT spokesman Steve Abbott says volume has been lighter through the work zone during that period.

"You can go 440, take other side roads or change your schedules," Abbott said. "We think a lot of people are going in later and beating that crunch time."

The DOT is tracking crashes in the work zone to determine if there are any trends, and one has become clear. Most of the crashes are due to speeding.

Abbott recommends that driver who must use I-40 through Raleigh slow down and pay careful attention.

"In a work zone, people are going to stop suddenly or change lanes," he said. "The faster you go, the less reaction time you have, and that's a big cause of the problems."

He had good news for drivers who have complained that the lane stripes and ruts along the travel lanes are confusing and dangerous. Crews will be smoothing some of those ruts as they get ready for winter.

The entire project is on track to be finished by the end of 2016.