Day 2 much smoother for Clayton Bypass drivers

Posted June 11, 2008 8:56 a.m. EDT
Updated June 11, 2008 9:24 a.m. EDT

— The newly opened Clayton Bypass got up to speed Wednesday. After morning-rush congestion Tuesday, traffic flowed smoothly from the bypass onto I-40 westbound for most of the morning.

Brief back-ups at the merge were evident between 6:45 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., but they quickly cleared.

On Tuesday, I-40 speeds averaged about 30 mph at one point. Westbound delays began just past Highway 42 and continued beyond the bypass.

The state Department of Transportation estimated drivers could save about 15 minutes by taking the U.S. Highway 70 Bypass around Clayton – for 22 hours of the day.

The other two hours are during the morning rush hour as cars flow – often slowly – toward Raleigh and the Research Triangle Park.

The backup is, DOT says, an Interstate 40 issue and not something the bypass can help. The bypass puts drivers into the I-40 line farther east than other routes, and westbound I-40 is still westbound I-40.

DOT says the bypass is intended to ease congestion on U.S. 70, not the interstate, and to give drivers better information about their commutes so they can decide what routes to take.