RALEIGH – Work continued on the Fortify project Friday night with
crews shifting traffic and closing lanes on I-440 West in southeast Raleigh. This was the first in series of shifts and closures to establish the new traffic
pattern in east and westbound lanes, which will remain in place until the work
on I-440 is complete. Each section that is closed
the night before will remain closed the next day.
experience the new pattern for the first time on Monday, Dec. 16, when lane
closures will remain in place during the morning and afternoon drive time.
options are also available Monday to help relieve traffic
congestion. As part of the Fortify project
the N.C. Department of Transportation invested
$12 million and partnered with Go Triangle,
Triangle Transit and Capital Area Transit to provide options
that include express bus service from Johnston County and additional service
from Eastern Wake County, as well as other commuter options that will begin
next year. Commuters can try the new Johnston County express service through
January for free.
FORTIFY PROJECT DETAILS
Starting at 11 p.m.
Friday, crews put in lane striping to merge
the two lanes of the I-40 West ramp onto I-440 West into a single lane on the
right side of the ramp. This will direct those motorists into a merge into the
two travel lanes coming from the I-40 East ramp to I-440 West, and then on
through the construction zone.
The traffic shift on
I-440 West put travelers into the outside lane and the shoulder, which was
strengthened to handle daily traffic. Barrels will be in place to block off the
two inside lanes and the median.
With work postponed by rainy then cold weather over the weekend, crews plan to resume work Tuesday night. They plan to extend
the traffic shift and closures to about the Poole Road exit of I-440 West, and
complete the westbound work by reaching the U.S. 64/264 exit the next night.
That will have traffic in a two-lane pattern
over a three-mile stretch.
While the I-440 West
work is underway, crews on Monday at 9 p.m. will continue prepping I-440 East
for the same traffic shift. The outside lane in the project area will be closed
as additional paving work is needed during the week to get the shoulder area
ready for traffic.Work on the I-440 lanes will be suspended over the holiday
break, and will resume the first week of January, when the eastbound traffic shift
and lane closures will start.
Once the closures
are in place, concrete Jersey barriers will replace the orange plastic traffic
control barrels that initially are being used. Then crews can start the removal
of the roadway surface and substructure.
traffic is not the only work going on for the Fortify project. On Monday, crews
will begin assembling a temporary asphalt plant being placed in the median of
the I-40/440 split.
NEW COMMUTER OPTION DETAILS
Starting Monday, daily express bus service begins between downtown Raleigh and Cleveland Crossing in Johnston County. The
new route will be called the Johnston County Express, or JCX, and will follow
Interstate 40 to U.S. 70 into downtown Raleigh. As an added incentive to get
commuters to try out this new service, the JCX will be free for all riders from
the launch of service on Dec. 16 through the month of January. More information
on the JCX is available on Triangle
Plans are also in the works to establish a
park-and-ride lot where commuters can park their cars when either catching the
JCX or meeting with carpoolers and vanpoolers to share a ride. The proposed lot
will be located at the Wal-Mart at the Cleveland Crossings Shopping Center,
located at I-40 and N.C. 42. To learn more about finding a carpool or vanpool,
Shoulder System (BOSS) will also be activated on Monday in both directions on I-40 between Raleigh and N.C. 42 (Exit 312). BOSS enables trained bus drivers on designated
bus routes to travel in the shoulder of the interstate as long as traffic in
travel lanes is moving at speeds lower than 35 miles per hour.
In addition to these new services, the existing
Zebulon-Wendell-Raleigh Express (ZWX) route is expanding to include mid-day
runs. Additional vanpool services will also be offered for commuters looking to
share a ride. For more information on these new services, visit www.fortifync.com and click on “Transit
Phase Two will begin in the fall of 2014. In addition to the
options being rolled out in phase one, this phase will include new routes from
Cary through west Raleigh and N.C. State University into downtown Raleigh, as
well as a route from Fuquay-Varina into Raleigh. Also as part of Phase Two, a
midday frequency will begin on the existing Garner-Downtown Raleigh Route
(Route 102). This would create hourly service along the route from 6 am until 6 pm.
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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