Inner? Outer? Beltline confusion ends soon

Posted August 25, 2008 3:01 p.m. EDT
Updated August 25, 2008 4:50 p.m. EDT

— Drivers no longer have to picture themselves on a clock face as they travel around downtown Raleigh, the N.C. Department of Transportation said Monday. The Inner and Outer Beltline designations for parts of Interstate 40 and Interstate 440 are being retired.

The loop around downtown has had various names and numbers since construction began in the 1960s. It was re-named I-440 in 1996.

Since that time, the lanes that travel clockwise have been called the "Inner Beltline," while the lanes that travel counter-clockwise are labeled "Outer Beltline." It's easy to see why on a map, but harder to visualize when wedged in a line of traffic.

DOT will begin work on new signage as soon as this fall as part of a larger contract to replace signs along the route.

The eight miles where I-40 and I-440 overlap from Exit 293 to Exit 301 will be re-labled simply as I-40, as seen in the map below.

The rest of the current loop will continue to carry the I-440 label. While drivers in both directions will head north to get where they are going, the road will simply be labeled I-440, either east or west.