Raleigh - The latest shift to newly-built inside lanes on the Fortify I-40 project wrapped up Tuesday morning. The shift covers about a half mile on I-40 West in southeast Raleigh. Vehicles in the two lanes that enter the project work zone at the I-40/440 split now move to the new inside lanes for that short stretch before returning to the outside lanes of the interstate.
Additionally, the single lane of I-440 East that merges onto I-40 West in the area now extends about a quarter mile as it approaches the exit for Rock Quarry Road.
This was the third shift as part of Phase II of the Fortify project. In May, about 2 miles of I-40 East near the Gorman Street exit were moved onto the three rebuilt inside lanes. And in June, a similar shift of about the same length took place near that area for the westbound traffic.
There will be more shifts in stages to the inside three lanes over the summer, with all traffic expected to be on 8 1/2 miles of brand new interstate roadway by late summer or early fall.
After each shift takes place, contractor crews can then begin tearing up the outside lanes that are no longer being used to rebuild those as well.
Because this is a very busy work zone with construction sometimes going 24 hours a day, the N.C. Department of Transportation continues to urge drivers to continue to slow down and pay extra attention as they travel through the work area. The speed limit is 60 mph and ticketed drivers face an additional fine if caught speeding in the work zone, where a majority of crashes have been caused by excessive speed or distracted drivers.
More information about the lane shifts and the project itself is on FortifyNC.com, including traffic updates, live traffic cameras and information about alternate transit options.