Local News

DOT Faces Delays On Road Projects; The Culprit: Unfavorable Weather

Posted March 6, 2001 6:00 a.m. EST

— It seems road projects are never done on time. Raleigh's Outer Loop from Creedmoor Road to Falls of Neuse was supposed to open last December, but now the projection has been moved to early May.

Tracy Parrott, an engineer with thestate Department of Transportation(DOT) is the man who makes the call on expected completion dates in the Triangle.

"I hope people don't get too upset by the date being off. We don't set dates just to set another date after it," he says. "We'll continue to try to project dates as accurately as we can, and if conditions are such that it has to be revised, then unfortunately we'll just have to revise our projections."

The Beltline at Interstate 40 ramp-widening project was supposed to be finished in November. The projection is now set for March 31. The road delay culprit for the Beltline and I-540, according to the DOT, is unfavorable weather. The Triangle area had less rain and warmer temperatures than a normal winter.

DOT officials say overall totals are less important than how the weather comes. Engineers say a steady light rain over a few days can set paving and grading back more than a downpour.

"We want to make sure that we finish it with as high a quality we can as soon as we can. It's a delicate balance," Parrott says.

FromOctober through February, the Triangle area has had 50 days of rain -- the fewest days of rain since the same period in 1984 and 1985.