The project has been so hampered by weather that drivers cannot know in advance whether work will be going on every night, and the state announces every afternoon whether work will proceed.
Weather has interfered several times since the state Department of Transportation tried to get things rolling on April 9. The plan has been for a regular work schedule so drivers can accommodate it into their plans.
The current official work zone is from mile marker 275 to marker 277.Officials make day-by-day calls on working conditions.
Work is supposed to reach the Durham Freeway, N.C. 147, in June and then head back westbound and go on through November. The contractor is supposed to wrap up next spring after a winter layoff.
That schedule was devised before the NCDOT caught the string of bad breaks with weather. The effect of those delays is unclear.
The project involves replacing deteriorating concrete with asphalt while trying to keep road disruption to a minimum. NCDOT has to do the work because the contractor who widened the road — and snarled traffic in the process — a few years ago didn't put expansion joints in the pavement, and it began to break up shortly after the work was done.
Who was to blame for the mistakes originally has been in dispute, but the parties have agreed to divvy up the $21 million repair tab.
The DOT contracted Lane Construction Corp., of Meriden, Conn., for the repair job, which will continue through November and resume in March 2008. It is set to be complete by May 2008.
"No matter which way you go—we can't emphasize enough—this will not affect the morning commute or the afternoon commute," Bowman said.