Raleigh – Progress on the Fortify project continues with work in several areas of the project along I-440 in southeast Raleigh planned for the coming week.
Weather permitting, the contractor plans to complete the final 1,500 feet of traffic shifts and lane striping for I-440 West approaching the U.S. 64/264 interchange overnight on Saturday. That would be followed by the placement of concrete barriers along that stretch of highway on Monday through Wednesday nights. About the middle of next week, crews will be milling and sawcutting pavement along the project area to prepare for the removal of the roadway.
Once the I-440 West traffic shift is complete, it will be time to switch to the eastbound side. But before that happens, lane closures on I-440 East between Poole Road and the I-40/440 split will be put into place tonight, with the two-lane traffic pattern remaining in place through the weekend, including during the daytime. This will give the contractor time to do some final paving in that area to get it ready for the traffic shift for that side.
The closed lanes will be open by 5 a.m., Monday, and possibly earlier if the work is completed. That will allow the traffic shift to the outside lane and shoulder, and lane striping on the eastbound side to begin Sunday night, and continue through Saturday night, weather permitting. Then the following week the concrete barriers will be put in place on that side.
Motorists going through the work zone are reminded to slow down to the reduced speed limit in that area, and use extra caution for the safety of themselves, their passengers, other motorists and construction crews. A conviction for speeding in a work zone an cost a motorist an additional $250 above the original speeding fine and court costs.
In addition to the traffic shift work, there is considerable activity on other parts of the project.
That includes installing the girders and decks for a bridge that will carry construction vehicles over I-440 East at the median of the I-40/440 split. That work, expected late next week, will require a brief closure of the interstate so the girders can be put in place.
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.
Drivers going from I-40 West onto I-440 West 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.
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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