Local News

DOT Engineers Hope To Alleviate I-40 Traffic Jams

Posted March 14, 2003 6:06 a.m. EST

— Chances are you have been stuck in the big traffic jam heading out of town on Interstate 40, often before big weekend events. Crews with the state Department of Transportation have been working on a solution since June 2001, and they hope they are making some headway.

The state Department of Transportation is adding one lane on each side of jam-packed I-40 from I-540 on the Wake/Durham County line to 15-501 between Durham and Chapel Hill.

Engineers are trying to ease the big bottlenecks from I-40 squeezing down from four lanes to three, then two lanes. Officials say the traffic jams are the worst when people are heading out of town for things like the

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"It won't alleviate it all, but we know that it will, we think it will, alleviate some of the congestion and make the Friday afternoons and the weekend commutes a whole lot better," DOT resident engineer Wiley Jones said.

Officials say the section from Interstate 540 to to the Durham Freeway is running about two months behind schedule. The completion date is set for August. The section from the Durham Freeway to Highway 15-501 may be a little more behind schedule.

"From Highway 15-501, we're working at trying to get that done as quickly as possible," Jones said. "There's an outside chance we may be able to complete it by the end of this year, more than likely it'll probably be next spring or summer."

DOT officials say most of the work on the roadway is being done at night due to safety concerns.