RALEIGH - Planning has been underway for years to improve traffic on Interstate 40 between I-440 (Exit 301) in Raleigh and N.C. 42 (Exit 312) in Clayton. Work to bring those improvements to life starts tonight.
From 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., contractors will begin paving work on eastbound I-40, widening the roadway to lay the groundwork for an eventual traffic shift and overlay that will guide motorists off the existing roadway so construction can begin in the median. Major traffic impacts are not expected until concrete barriers are set to separate vehicles from the coming construction work, which will begin next month. The barriers will help protect workers along the road.
Contractors will begin the paving near the Rock Quarry Road bridge and progress to U.S. 70 Business, and subsequently turn around to complete the same work on westbound I-40.
Engineers estimate this initial paving work will last about two weeks, but completion schedule is subject to weather.
Motorists are reminded that because this area will be a construction work zone, speed limit reductions are planned. Pay attention to the traffic switches and avoid tailgating when traveling through the zone.
The state plans to add two lanes in each direction to a nearly 12-mile stretch of I-40, between the merge with I-440 on the south side of Raleigh and N.C. 42 in Johnston County.
The project will also redesign the I-40 interchange with N.C. 42 in Johnston County, with a new ramp alignment and traffic pattern. Drivers will be able to use the exit to access both N.C. 42 and Cleveland Road. The expanded interchange is expected to alleviate heavy traffic conditions that currently exist by allowing drivers to access Cleveland Road without going into the N.C. 42 travel lanes.
Stay tuned for more updates as the project progresses and make sure to visit DriveNC.gov or follow NCDOT on Twitter for real-time travel information.