I-40 is the gateway to the Capital city for anyone headed in from points east.
The problem is that all that interstate traffic funnels down to one lane as drivers hit the beltline. During the morning and evening rush, bottlenecks cause long and frustrating delays.
The signs of relief are on their way, but traffic will get worse before it gets better.
Crews are installing construction warnings for another beltline widening project. As a result of the widening, I-440 will get an additional lane on the inner and outer beltline, from I-40 to Poole Road.
Initially, crews will reinforce the shoulders so traffic can be shifted there. Then the median will be paved over. Finally, the grass will be gone, replaced by a concrete median barrier.
But before commuters gain a lane, the DOT will have to take one away temporarily.
The result is that there will be two lanes in each direction instead of the current three, even during rush hours.
"There are times that lanes will be down, but I think that during the majority of the time we will have two lanes of traffic open through the area," said DOT resident engineer Lamar Sylvester.
The lanes will be closed after Thanksgiving, and the project is expected to last about a year at a cost of $7.4 million.
The project also includes a new median guardrail that will run along the beltline from I-40 to Lake Wheeler Road.