RALEIGH – Work on the NCDOT Fortify project in southeast Raleigh gears up Tuesday night on I-440 in both directions after taking a break over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Overnight lane closures on both the east and westbound sides of the interstate will resume to complete prep work for a traffic shift taking place later in the week, with the closures expanding to daytime hours this week. Much of this work will be weather-dependent.
Starting between U.S. 64/264 and Poole Road, there will be an outside lane closure Tuesday night from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. to allow crews to resume milling rumble strips and paving over those areas to provide a smooth driving surface. This work will add an additional lane for the traffic shift.
The milling and paving work on I-440 East is scheduled to continue to the I-40/440 split through early next week, with overnight lane closures in place as early as 9 p.m. each day.
Work on westbound I-440 will start about 11 p.m. Tuesday, and require the closure of the outside lane until 5 a.m. on Wednesday. It will involve paving for widening of the interstate across from the median of the I-40/440 split, and painting a new road edgeline from the I-40/440 split to the Crabtree Creek bridge at U.S. 64/264.
Once this work is complete the contractor will work on other parts of the project that don’t require paving through the winter as asphalt can’t be placed below certain temperatures.
Wednesday, Dec. 4 through Friday, Dec. 6
Tuesday night’s work on I-440 West will get those lanes ready for a traffic shift that will begin at 11 p.m. on Wednesday and remain in place on Thursday. Plastic traffic-control barrels will be used to direct motorists into a two-lane pattern using the outside lane and shoulder, which was converted into a travel lane, from the I-40/440 split to Sunnybrook Road. That will also allow crews to change the lane striping for the new pattern. Over the following two nights, that traffic pattern will be extended the length of the project to the U.S. 64/264 interchange, getting about a mile finished each night. Once complete, this traffic pattern will remain in place 24 hours a day, seven days a week for several months for the rebuilding of the inner lanes on both east and westbound I-440.
Saturday, Dec. 7 through Monday, Dec. 9
On Saturday night at 11 p.m., the plastic barrels on the westbound side will start being replaced with 12-foot long concrete barriers, going from the I-40/440 split to Sunnybrook Road the first night. Crews expect to extend the barrier placement about 3,000 feet a night, going as far as the westbound on-ramp off U.S. 264/64, leaving it open for U.S. 64/264 traffic to get onto I-440 West.
Beginning the week of Dec. 9
Once the concrete barriers are set for the westbound lanes, and the milling and paving on I-440 eastbound is finished, crews will start shifting that traffic into a two-lane pattern. Plastic barrels go up first to direct vehicles, and allow crews to do lane striping. That is expected to take three days. Then the concrete barriers will be brought in for what should be about a six-day operation.
Drivers are reminded to be careful while going through the work zone during the lane closures and to follow the posted speed limit for their safety, as well as other travelers, and the construction crews.
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 2016.
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.
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