RALEIGH – Planning has been underway for years to improve traffic on Interstate 440 between Walnut Street in Cary and Wade Avenue in Raleigh. Thanks to a N.C. Department of Transportation contract, a major step forward in that plan has taken place.
The Department recently reviewed contractor proposals and opened bids and The Lane Construction Corporation of Cheshire, CT was the successful bidder at a price of nearly $347 million. Project designs will be completed in the coming weeks, and construction should start early next year. The project is expected to finish by August 1, 2023.
Utilizing a design-build project delivery concept, the state plans to: widen I-440/U.S. 1 to a six-lane divided highway between Cary and Wade Avenue; modify interchanges and replace bridges along that stretch of highway; and provide railroad grade separations for Beryl Road and Norfolk Southern Railway/North Carolina Railroad/CSX Railroad, and Hillsborough Street at Blue Ridge Road.
The design-build concept helps complete projects faster by allowing the design, environmental permitting, right of way acquisition, utility relocation and construction to all take place under one contract. That helps the department lower cost inflation, lessen environmental impacts and by completing a project faster, reduces construction driving delays for motorists.
Because of the heavy traffic along that corridor of I-440, no peak-hour lane closures are planned; although drivers can expect slower speeds because of work zone impacts.
Most of the work will be done during the nighttime hours between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., as daytime restrictions will be in effect to ease the impact on travel. The traffic management plan will also accommodate major events at PNC Arena, Carter-Finley Stadium, and the State Fairgrounds.
Drivers are encouraged to plan ahead when traveling through the area and to visit DriveNC.gov or follow NCDOT on Twitter for real-time travel information once construction is under way.