Work progressing on adding lanes to I-40

Posted November 29, 2010 4:34 p.m. EST
Updated November 29, 2010 7:07 p.m. EST

— Crews have finished 88 percent of a project to widen Interstate 40 between Raleigh and Cary from four to six lanes, but the project won't be finished until next summer, according to the state Department of Transportation.

The $49 million project to expand I-40 between Jones Franklin Road and Harrison Avenue started in June 2009, and DOT engineer David Moore said it is on schedule to be completed by the end of next June.

"It was the last missing bottleneck between the two ends of I-40," Moore said.

Reducing the traffic flow from three lanes to two creates westbound delays every weekday morning and eastbound back-ups during the evening commute.

Crews have finished paving the extra lanes and have shifted to working on drainage improvements on the outside lanes before filling cracks in the existing pavement and resurfacing all lanes, Moore said. In the coming months, they also will work on I-40 bridges over Wade Avenue and U.S. Highway 1 and build sound barrier walls along parts of the interstate, he said.

"We're hoping for an easy winter to help along with that," he said. "It will be worth it come June. We'll have some happy travelers, including myself."

The project also will provide the foundation for eventually expanding I-40 to eight lanes, he said.