Heavy construction on the Interstate 440 Improvements Project will begin in earnest over the next couple of weeks. The project's first bridge closure will begin Monday, Sept. 30 at 7 a.m. with the Melbourne Road bridge over the Raleigh Beltline.
The yearlong closure will allow for the demolition of the existing bridge and construction of a new structure and ramps. The existing Melbourne Road ramp onto I-440 East will remain open to traffic and the existing westbound I-440 exit to Melbourne Road will remain open by utilizing a detour to Deboy Street.
For the next year, a signed detour will direct drivers south and east of the Beltline to take Kaplan Drive to Athens Drive to cross I-440, then to Jones Franklin Road, Western Boulevard and Powell Drive to get to Melbourne Road on the opposite side of I-440. Motorists north and west of the Beltline will follow a detour on the same streets, but in reverse.
Both directions of I-440 at Melbourne Road are scheduled to be closed for five nights from midnight to 5 a.m. beginning Oct. 7 to accommodate the safe demolition of the bridge. Eastbound travelers will exit I-440 at Jones Franklin Road and follow a detour to Western Boulevard back to the Beltline. Drivers heading west will take the Western Boulevard exit and turn left on Jones Franklin to get back to I-440.
Drivers need to pay extra attention and anticipate needing a little extra time for the detours.