Raleigh - Roadway work on the Fortify project on I-440 in southwest Raleigh will gear up over the next several days.
Tonight around 11 p.m., crews are expected to continue placing concrete barriers on I-440 West where lane closures are already in place, going from the I-40/440 split toward the Poole Road exit. That leaves extending the lane closures the final mile of the project on the westbound side to the U.S. 64/264 exit, which is planned for Sunday and Monday nights. As soon as that traffic shift is in place, that section of highway will also have concrete barriers put in place, which could be finalized as early as Thursday night.
Traffic shifts and lane closures for the eastbound side are scheduled to start the middle of next week, weather permitting, and take about five days. As soon as the lane striping is done and orange traffic control barrels are in place, those barrels will be switched out for concrete barriers. That process is expected to take about six days, and be wrapped up by the last week of January.
Once concrete barriers are in place on both sides of the interstate, that will be the traffic pattern in the work zone until late spring. Crews will spend that time removing the asphalt and substructure for the two inside lanes and the median in both directions, and then rebuild the highway.
Motorists are urged to use extra caution when approaching and driving in the work zone to protect themselves, their passengers, other motorists and construction crews. Drivers need to observe the reduced speed limit, and pay attention to traffic and construction warning signs. A conviction for speeding in a work zone could cost a motorist an additional $250 above the original speeding fine and court costs.
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.