Raleigh - Work on the East End Connector project in Durham will require the closure of Ellis Road under the Durham Freeway (N.C. 147) between Glover Road and East Pettigrew Street on Thursday, April 14. The closure, scheduled between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., will allow construction workers to safely cut the overhang and rail of the existing bridge on the Freeway. That is needed for future road widening on the project.
The East End Connector is a 3.9-mile interstate-standard road linking the Durham Freeway with U.S. 70, which will be upgraded to a freeway between Pleasant Drive and N.C. 98. That in turn will create a direct connection between I-85 and I-40, the Triangle Expressway and U.S. 1 in southern Wake County. Once open in 2019, the Connector is expected to add the I-885 route designation.
The new highway is expected to promote economic development in areas along the I-85 corridor toward Virginia by improving access for people and goods between Durham and counties north of the city to major employment and retail centers, including Research Triangle Park, Raleigh-Durham International Airport and Wake County. It will also help alleviate congestion on the Durham Freeway through downtown Durham, and divert traffic off local roads such as U.S. 15/501, as well as Roxboro, Mangum, Gregson and Duke streets.
Road, bridge, and other transportation improvement projects like this one are currently underway across the state as part of Governor McCrory's 25-Year Transportation Vision to enhance travel safety and to better connect North Carolinians to jobs, education, healthcare and recreation opportunities.
New transportation projects in the state's current 10-year plan are funded through the Strategic Mobility Formula, a new way of more efficiently investing transportation dollars by using a data-driven scoring process along with local input to fund more projects and create more jobs. The new mobility formula was passed into law in 2013 under Governor McCrory's leadership.