DOT: Wake paving projects will be 'a lot of hassle for traffic'

Posted June 15, 2012 4:32 p.m. EDT
Updated June 16, 2012 7:54 a.m. EDT

— Two big highway projects will have a major impact on Wake County drivers, bringing years of potential traffic headaches.

U.S. Highway 70 Business, a major shopping and industrial corridor that runs through the heart of Garner, will get a $6-million face lift beginning Saturday as crews repave U.S. 70 from Hammond Road to Interstate 40.

Hammond Road also will get a fresh layer of asphalt between U.S. 70 and I-40, but state Department of Transportation spokesman Steve Abbott says the good news is the work will happen overnight.

U.S. 70 paving in Garner

“Motorists shouldn't really notice anything, except the road getting better,” Abbott said.

The work should be finished by Thanksgiving, but more road work lies ahead. The repaving work in Garner has to be finished before crews can begin work on another big repaving project on I-40 in Raleigh.

Starting next March, the DOT plans to reconstruct I-40 from U.S. Highway 1 near Cary all the way through south and east Raleigh, including Interstate 440 to the Knightdale Bypass. The rehabilitation will take two years and require major daytime lane closures along the Interstate.

“Some projects, you can do the work at night, open the lane in the morning. The road is going to be torn up,” Abbott said.

I-40 reconstruction in Raleigh

With those major closures, the DOT has to find a way to funnel about 30,000 cars a day off that section of I-40. U.S. 70 Business through Garner will be one of those alternate routes.

“It's going to be a lot of hassle for traffic. You may want to find alternate routes, change your schedule,” Abbott said.

Michael Robinson uses that stretch of I-40 all the time and said he’s already thinking about how that repaving project will change his life.

“I’m going to have to plan ahead, that's obvious, (and) try to figure alternate routes to take to get back and forth to work,” he said.

A freshly paved U.S. 70 through Garner might be his best option.