Raleigh - As work on the I-40 section of the Fortify I-40/440 Rebuild Project in Raleigh increases in the coming weeks, FortifyNC.com has the latest travel information that drivers need to help with their day-to-day commutes.
Construction crews on Thursday night began shifting lanes to the outside on westbound I-40 from Lake Wheeler Road to U.S. 1/64 in preparation for work in the median and inside lanes. The shift to the outside lanes will take about a week. Crews will then shift lanes in the same way and area of I-40 East the following week.
For commuters who will be traveling along those shifted lanes, FortifyNC.com offers real-time traffic maps, construction maps, and smartphone apps that give users a virtual "heads up" on road conditions with hands-free voice notifications for safer driving.
The website also offers "smarter commuter strategies" that include local transit, carpooling, vanpooling and even telecommuting.
NCDOT wants to reduce the number of vehicles traveling daily through the Fortify work zone during the morning and evening commute times by 30,000. By planning their trips and applying some of the strategies offered on FortifyNC.com, local drivers can help meet that goal.
Getting the message out about construction is critical.
As early as July, sections of the highway that are four and five lanes will be reduced to three lanes -and that could mean longer trips to and from work for the more than 120,000 drivers who use the 8.-5-mile stretch of I-40 on a day-to-day basis. And that traffic pattern will be in place until Summer 2016.
Once the lanes are reduced, drivers can expect a longer commute, on average 30 minutes longer each way, depending on where you are going. That does not include factors like crashes, disabled vehicles or bad weather.
Earlier in the week crews re-opened the third lane on the I-440 East section of the Fortify project, putting the whole roadway at full capacity in each direction. Final surface paving on the I-440 East lanes will continue at night through mid to late June.