Raleigh - Work on the East End Connector project in Durham will close a section of the southbound Durham Freeway (N.C. 147) for two nights later this week. The contractor needs the closure so it can safely set up the girders for a flyover bridge that will carry southbound traffic onto the new roadway being built to connect the Freeway with U.S. 70.
The closure will be on Thursday and Friday night from Alston Avenue/N.C. 55 (Exit 11) to Ellis Road (Exit 8). Right lane closures will be going into place between 8 p.m. and midnight both nights, with a complete closure set between midnight and 5 a.m.
A detour going into place will send drivers off the highway at Alston Avenue/N.C. 55, then left on Cornwallis Road and left on T.W. Alexander Drive to get back to the Freeway. Northbound traffic will not be affected.
Drivers are urged to slow down and use caution when approaching the lane and exit closing, and to pay attention to the detour signs.
The East End Connector is a 3.9-mile interstate-standard road. In addition to a section being in a new location, the project will also upgrade U.S. 70 to a freeway between Pleasant Drive and N.C. 98.
Highway projects like this are 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.
The Connector will provide a direct connection between I-85 and I-40, the Triangle Expressway and U.S. 1 in southern Wake County. Once open in 2019, it is expected to add the Interstate 885 route designation. The new highway is intended 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.