Local News

RDU Officials Look At Cloverleaf Design To Ease Traffic Flow

Posted January 13, 2003 6:23 a.m. EST

— Airports usually worry about traffic in the air, but RDU International is helping out on the ground.

Officials are building a new ramp near Interstate 40 and Aviation Parkway. The new ramp is designed to eliminate the turn across oncoming traffic near the airport, and hopefully keep traffic moving.

In its current configuation, if someone is going away from the airport on Aviation Parkway, traffic now has to stop, and he/she will have to cut across traffic to get to I-40. Under the new design, traffic will keep moving continuously to the right, looping onto I-40 without interruption.

Officials with the state Department of Transportation said they had the partial cloverleaf on the books, but the RDU Airport Authority used its own money to design and build the new interchange.

"However, there wasn't a date assigned to it, and the airport wanted to go ahead and take care of this project because we know the congestion would only increase, so that is why we went to the DOT and proposed that we go ahead and take the project over," said RDU spokeswoman Mindy Hamlin.

DOT engineers tell WRAL that it would have taken years for the state to build the new traffic pattern. The state approved the airport's plan and let officials take off on the project. Officials said the partial cloverleaf design may be used on other I-40 interchanges.

Officials said construction should be finished by April and cost the airport $2 million.