Raleigh – The contractor for the Fortify project on I-440 in
southwest Raleigh has wrapped up its roadway work before taking a holiday
break. Crews on Thursday night finished putting in lane striping that directs
traffic on I-440 West into a two-lane pattern, using the outside lane and
reinforced shoulder, between the I-40/440 split and the Poole Road exit on-ramp.
No additional lane closures will take place until road work resumes in early
January, when the two-lane pattern is extended another mile to the U.S. 64/264
interchange. That pattern will remain in place until late next spring.
Motorists are urged
to use extra caution when approaching and driving through the work zone to
protect themselves, their passengers, other motorists and construction crews.
Drivers need to obey the speed limit, and pay attention to traffic and
construction warning signs. A speeding ticket issued in a work zone could cost
a motorist an additional $250 above the original speeding fine and court costs.
Drivers going from
I-40 West onto I-440 West will merge
from two lanes at the start of the ramp to a single lane on the right side of
the ramp, and then merge again into the two travel lanes coming from the I-40
East ramp onto I-440 West. In early January, crews will resume the road work
and extend the two-lane pattern to the end of the three-mile project at U.S.
Crews on Thursday
night continued their prep work to prepare for a traffic shift for the I-440
East side of the project, which will also take place in early January. Thursday’s
work involved smoothing over rumble strips at the outside lane between Poole
Road and where the interstate crosses over Sunnybrook Road. That helps prepare
the shoulder on eastbound I-440 to be used as a regular travel lane.
Once both the east
and westbound sides of the I-440 project site are in two-lane traffic patterns
in January, crews will replace the orange traffic control barrels with concrete
Jersey barriers to provide protection for construction crews. That is when work
will begin on removing the two inside lanes in both directions and the median
to prepare for the rebuilding of the highway.
While road work is
suspended for the holidays to help travelers on their holiday trips, other work
on the project continues. Utility work
is planned before and after Christmas next week for the temporary asphalt plant
being built in the median of the I-40/440 split. Early preparations will be
underway for the building of a temporary bridge at the split in late January
for use by construction vehicles. And a construction office facility for the contractor
is being built along the Lake Wheeler Road ramp off I-40 East.
The Fortify project is the removal and
replacement of an 11.5-mile
stretch of I-40 and I-440. The initial phase focuses on replacing the
section of I-440 between the I-40/440/U.S. 64 split and just north of the U.S.
64/264 Knightdale Bypass. Work will then switch to rebuilding I-40 between the
split and the I-40/U.S. 1/64 interchange near Cary. That is expected to start
in late 2014 or early 2015, with the entire project expected to wrap up Fall
Because of the expected
traffic impact of the project, NCDOT has a Fortify website that provides
comprehensive information, including alternate transit options, project maps
and links to live traffic cameras. Employers can also access online resources
to help them develop and implement a flexible work program. The site includes
links to Twitter, Facebook
and other social media to stay engaged with NCDOT and other commuters.
*** NCDOT ***
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