RALEIGH - The outside collector lane of I-440 West (Exit 1) between I-40 and Buck Jones opened just before 5 a.m. Thursday following repairs. Once open to traffic, crews continued to monitor the road and by 6 a.m. gave the all-clear to keep the lane open to traffic.
A contractor performed overnight patch work along the highway on Tuesday night to keep the road safe and prepare it as a possible alternate route for the upcoming project to fortify the roads by rebuilding sections of I-40 and I-440. The work was completed and the road re-opened Wednesday morning before rush hour as scheduled. However, it was noticed the new asphalt was not handling traffic as intended, with the surface showing some rutting. So the lane was closed again for the safety of motorists and to allow crews to repair the problem.
"We apologize for the inconvenience to drivers who got caught in congestion today. We know how frustrating that can be," said NCDOT Construction Engineer Dennis Jernigan on Wednesday. "This was a safety issue. We always closely monitor the road after repair work like this. When it became apparent in this case that the foundation in that specific area of the 50-year-old highway was causing an issue, we immediately closed it and completed necessary repair work to ensure the road was safe for drivers."
Those repairs were completed late Wednesday afternoon, but because of the amount of hot asphalt needed, the roadway surface needed several hours to cool down to allow vehicles to use the lane.
The contractor, who is not part of the project to rebuild I-40 and I-440, has been doing similar work along other stretches of I-440, including on the opposite side of the same location last week. There had been no problems or similar incidents with the earlier patching. The same kind of work has been under way on I-40 the past few weeks, also without any issues.
The inner collector lane and regular I-440 West lanes remained open the entire time.
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