Raleigh Prep work for the N.C. Department of Transportation's Fortify project is expected to gear up next week with I-440 lane closures planned for at least five nights in southeast Raleigh. Beginning Monday, Nov. 11 between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. the next morning, crews will be grinding out the rumble strips along the edge of the outside lane on both I-440 East and West between the I-40/440/U.S. 64 split and the bridge over Crabtree Creek just north of the U.S. 64/264 Exit.
The work will begin at the split and go along westbound I-440 to the Crabtree Creek bridge, then cross to eastbound I-440 and go back to the split. Once the milling of the rumble strips takes place, the same areas will be paved over in the same order to provide a smooth driving surface.
For the safety of the workers and motorists, the outside travel lanes on both the east and westbound sides of I-440 will be closed off each night between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., through Saturday morning. Should there be any sort of weather delay, the closures could be in place again overnight Saturday, Nov. 16.
Drivers are reminded to be careful while driving through the work zone during the lane closures. Once the lanes re-open each morning, caution should still be used if a vehicle has to move over to the shoulder for any reason as the milling and paving work is expected to leave about a 1.5-inch drop between the outside travel lane and the shoulder in both directions. Uneven pavement signs will be installed, and the shoulders will be lined with barrels.
There will also be daytime work next week, but it will not require any lane closures. At the median of the split, preparation for putting a gas line in for an asphalt plant going on the site will continue. Land will also be cleared along the Lake Wheeler Road exit ramp off eastbound I-40, where the contractor will be setting up a field office.
Nighttime lane closures on I-440 are expected to continue until work is halted for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Daytime lane closures could begin in early December.
This is all prep work for the removal and replacement of an 11.5-mile stretch of I-40 and I-440. The initial phase of the Fortify project will focus on replacing the highway from the I-40/440/U.S. 64 split to 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 scheduled to wrap up by the fall of 2016.
In addition to rebuilding the road, crews will extend two miles of auxiliary lanes to help manage additional traffic. They will also rehabilitate 14 bridges within the project zone to extend their life by many years.
Because of the expected traffic impact of the project, NCDOT has a Fortify website to provide comprehensive information, including where to catch alternate transit options, project maps and links to live traffic cameras. Employers and human resources professionals 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.
For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit www.ncdot.gov/travel or follow NCDOT on Twi