Traffic

Hit the Brakes: Weekend Repairs Close Lanes on I-40

Posted November 14, 2007 10:59 a.m. EST
Updated November 17, 2007 1:10 p.m. EST

— The holiday travel headaches started early on Interstate 40 in Raleigh and Durham County when the state Department of Transportation closed lanes for scheduled repairs.

Transportation workers closed two of three eastbound lanes between exits 293 (U.S. Highways 1/64) and 295 (Gorman Street) at 9 p.m. Friday. The lane closures were scheduled to last until 6 a.m. Monday.

Starting Sunday morning, crews will also be repairing pavement in both directions of I-40 in Durham. The work will close intermittent lane closures between exits 276 (Fayetteville Road) and 273 (N.C. Highway 54).

The road work in Raleigh is part of a project to repave a 12.9-mile stretch of I-40 where the asphalt was laid back in the 1980s. Regular drivers over the stretch had complained about its condition.

"You can always hear the bumps as you're driving on 40," Raleigh resident Leslie Hatch said.

DOT officials said the nearly 30-year-old pavement needs an upgrade.

"It's work we've got to do," Andy Barry, a DOT engineer, said. "Hopefully, we'll be in and out real quick, and we'll give the road back, better than it was."

Drivers familiar with the sometimes bumpy ride on I-40 said the sooner the work gets done, the better.

"I'm sure it's going to be a headache for everybody, but in the end, it's O.K.; we can suck it up," Hatch said.

"Hey, it's got to be done," shrugged motorist Torrell Massey. "We'll find a way around it."

Raleigh resident Barbara Leoffler expressed hope that the project signaled better roads in the future.

"I look forward to expanding the road system around here to fit the population," she said. "At least, I'm hopeful that I have that to look forward to."

DOT officials advised that motorists can expect heavy delays during the lane closures. They recommended drivers use these alternate routes:

  • From I-40 East: Take Exit 283 onto I-540 to Exit 26-A U.S. 64/264, and then merge onto the I-440 Inner Beltline back to I-40 East via Exit 301.
  • From U.S. 1/64 to I-40 East: Take Exit 14 onto the I-440 Inner Beltline to I-40 East via Exit 301.

Crews will resume nightly lane closures on I-40 between Exit 289 (Wade Avenue) and the I-440/I-40 split (mile marker 301), starting at 9 p.m. Monday. There will be no weekday lane closures during construction. Lanes will remain open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.