I-40 widening project almost done

Posted April 25, 2011 7:20 p.m. EDT

— Highway crews on Monday began removing cones to open new lanes on Interstate 40 between Raleigh and Cary.

The $49 million project to expand I-40 between Jones Franklin Road and Harrison Avenue started in June 2009. One lane is being added in each direction to remove the daily bottleneck where the highway narrows from three to two lanes.

State Department of Transportation crews will work overnight in the coming weeks to open the new lanes one mile at a time.

The DOT has issued a warning about a change in traffic patterns. Starting Tuesday morning, drivers getting on eastbound I-40 from U.S. Highway 1/64 will not have a lane for free-flowing traffic onto I-40.

"Now, they're going to have to yield, and we want to get the word out to make sure that people are aware of this condition, that they pay a lot closer attention to this condition and that they slow down and look over their shoulder and realize they're now going to have to yield," DOT engineer Dennis Jernigan said.

Weather permitting, crews are scheduled to finish the eastbound highway this week and the westbound lane next week. The entire project is expected to be complete by June 30.