RALEIGH -Work on the I-440 interchange at Poole Road for the Fortify rebuild project will require the closure of the ramp from I-440 West onto Poole Road this weekend.
The closure will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday and wrap up by 6 a.m. on Monday, weather permitting. The outside eastbound lane of Poole Road will also be closed through the weekend. The closures are needed so crews can safely complete the section of the rebuilt ramp that merges onto Poole Road.
A signed detour will send motorists who want to access Poole Road in either direction to the next exit on I-440 West, which is I-495/U.S.64/264 (Exit 14). They will go to the first exit, which is South New Hope Road (Exit 420) and turn left to get to Poole Road.
A similar closure is planned for later this month for the ramp going from Poole Road to I-440 West.
Work on the outside lanes of I-440 West has been under way since traffic was shifted from those lanes to the newly built inside lanes in mid-July. Ramp and bridge work and the paving of those outside lanes will continue for the next several weeks.
The same traffic shift to the new inside lanes of I-440 East took place in mid-August, and crews are in the process of tearing up and rebuilding those outside lanes and ramps as well.
The I-440 section of Fortify is still on schedule to be completed late this year. Then attention will shift to the larger 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. Bridge widening and shoulder preparation work along I-40 has been under way for several months in anticipation of that move.
The department reminds drivers to slow down, 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.
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 has focused on the I-440 section so that highway will be available as an alternate route for drivers to get around the construction on I-40 when traffic in both directions is in a three-lane pattern.
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 online resources to help them develop and implement a flexible work program. The site includes links to Twitter,