Traffic

I-40 Repaving Project Could Be Finished Ahead of Schedule

Posted September 13, 2007 8:00 p.m. EDT
Updated September 13, 2007 8:46 p.m. EDT

— The $21 million project to repair a botched paving job on a nearly 11-mile stretch of Interstate 40 through Durham County could be complete by the end of November – six months ahead of schedule.

"The I-40 overlay project has gone very well," Dennis Jernigan, an engineer with the state Department of Transportation, said Thursday. "The contractor is currently slightly ahead of schedule."

Lane Construction Corp., of Meriden, Conn., began repaving the roadway in April and was scheduled to work through November, then resume in March 2008.

Dry weather has helped put crews ahead of schedule, Jernigan said. When the project began in April, weather too cold for paving and rain had dogged the work schedule, but this summer's drought ended that interference.

"We are approximately 70 percent complete," Jernigan said. "The majority of weekend lane closures have been exhausted, so hopefully, the impact will be just a little while longer."

Nighttime and weekend-long lane closures on the stretch of pavement have caused hassles for thousands of drivers in recent years.

In 2003, crews began widening I-40 to six lanes from the Durham Freeway to U.S. Highway 15-501. The project, which cost $50 million, was completed about a year later, but in Summer 2005, the top layer of the two old lanes of the interstate began crumbling.

The DOT discovered that expansion joints in the 10.6-mile stretch had been improperly constructed when new concrete was laid on top of the old. The third lane in each direction was completely new and did not have to be dug up this year.