RALEIGH -Construction crews on the Fortify Project plan to close the ramp from Poole Road onto I-440 West in Raleigh this weekend, as well as the outside lane of westbound Poole Road in the same area.
The closures are needed to complete pavement reconstruction at the top of ramp to tie it in with the rebuilt lower section of the ramp. Crews will begin closing the ramp and roadway at 6 p.m. on Friday. They will re-open by 6 a.m. on Monday.
The work was supposed to take place this past weekend but was postponed by rain. Similar weekend closures were in place last month for the I-440 East and West ramps onto Poole Road.
There will be separate detours for east and westbound drivers this weekend. Heading east on Poole Road (away from downtown Raleigh), motorists will be directed to turn left on New Hope Road and then west on I-495/U.S. 64/264 to get back to I-440. Westbound Poole Road drivers (heading toward downtown), will be sent right on Sunnybrook Road and right on New Bern Avenue to the I-440 interchange.
The N.C. Department of Transportation reminds drivers to use caution and obey the speed limit of 55 mph in the I-440 work zone and 60 mph in the I-40 work zone for their safety, as well as the safety of passengers, other motorists and the crews working along the highway.
This ramp work is another step toward the expected completion of the I-440 portion of the Fortify project late this year. Crews are now working on the outside lanes of both east and westbound I-440, rebuilding those lanes from the substructure to the highway surface. They have already finished that work on the inside lanes, which are already open to traffic.
Once the I-440 section of Fortify is done, the main focus of work will switch to the longer I-40 section of the project between the I-440/U.S. 1/64 interchange in Cary and the I-440 split in southwest Raleigh. Crews will do the same road replacement work on I-40, and have been doing prep work along the interstate for several months, with bridge widening and shoulder strengthening under way in several locations.
The Fortify project involves the removal and replacement of the highway surface and substructure along 11.5 miles of interstate on I-40 and I-440. A chemical reaction in the 40-year-old substructure of the roadway is causing it to crumble, and in turn, damaging the road surface. That required constant repairs, and led to concerns of ongoing major travel disruptions along one of the state's busiest stretches of highway.
The initial phase focused on I-440 so it will be available as a possible alternate route for drivers to consider to get around construction on I-40, where traffic will be in a three-lane pattern in both directions for the duration of the project.
Because of the expected traffic impact of the project, especially when work is under way full-time on I-40, NCDOT is partnered with Go Triangle, Triangle Transit and Capital Area Transit to promote options to help motorists avoid traveling through the work zone at peak travel times. A Fortify website provides comprehensive information, including alternate transit options, project maps and links to live traffic cameras. Employers can also access