Traffic

Weekend closures on I-540 to correct problems

Posted June 11, 2008 10:50 a.m. EDT
Updated June 11, 2008 7:16 p.m. EDT

— The state Department of Transportation is temporarily reducing the number of lanes along a mile stretch of eastbound Interstate 540 this weekend to make repairs.

Two of three eastbound lanes near Triangle Town Boulevard (mile marker 17) will close Thursday at 8 p.m. and reopen at 6 a.m. Friday. They will close again from Friday at 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. Monday, weather permitting, the DOT said.

The closure, the first over the next three weekends, is necessary for the contractor to correct problems on two isolated areas of the roadway before it opened in January 2007.

"We made the decision to go ahead and open the corridor knowing that once our testing and preparations were complete we would have to come back for some intermittent lane closures," DOT engineer Dennis Jernigan said.

It will be at no additional cost to the state.

"This is a good thing," Jernigan said. "We caught this before the department accepted the project for maintenance. The contractor is accepting full responsibility for the repairs."

Motorists can use a detour to U.S. Highway 1 south/Capital Boulevard (Exit 16) to Old Wake Forest Road to Triangle Town Boulevard, back to I-540 east.

The ramp to I-540 east from U.S. 1 north will also be closed. Motorists can take Old Wake Forest Road to Triangle Town Boulevard to I-540 east.

"We wanted to put the word out as quickly as possible," Jernigan said. "We wanted to do it on the weekend to have the least impact as possible on commuter traffic and to let people know so that they could find alternate routes when possible."

In the past, the state has had to pay for road repairs that were not noticed in a timely manner.

Buckling pavement along a 10-mile stretch of Interstate 40 in Durham County last year cost the state $22 million. A pothole problem on a stretch of Interstate 795 in Wayne County could cost the state as much as $7 million to fix.