Traffic

Next big I-440 project tentatively planned for 2018

Posted November 10, 2014 7:28 p.m. EST
Updated November 17, 2014 11:26 a.m. EST

— The North Carolina Department of Transportation is planning $92 million in improvements along a 3.5-mile stretch of Interstate 440 in Wake County to help alleviate traffic troubles caused by a bottleneck during busy commute times.

The state has scheduled a public meeting from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Method Community Center (Pioneer Building), at 514 Method Road, to present its plans to expand I-440 – from just south of Walnut Street in Cary to north of Wade Avenue in Raleigh – from two lanes in each direction to three lanes.

Beginning in 2018, bridges will also be replaced, the road will be resurfaced and interchanges will be changed on the section.

DOT spokesman Steve Abbott said the stretch was the first portion of I-440 completed in the 1960s and was not designed to handle the approximately 80,000 vehicles that travel on it daily.

"You've got to remember that when it was built, Raleigh was much a much smaller community," he said. "Traffic impact is going to get bigger and bigger and bigger."

Abbott said the DOT plans to keep traffic delays to a minimum when work begins. That will be after it completes work on its Fortify project – an initiative currently underway to improve an 11.5-mile stretch of I-440.

"The goal is to maintain two lanes of traffic through the construction zone the whole time," he said. "Except for nights and weekends – there might be some lane closures."