GARNER – The project to widen Interstate 40 from Southeast Raleigh to Clayton crossed a major milestone this morning.
All new lanes in both directions of the interstate are open to traffic between I-440 (Exit 301) and the U.S. 70 Bypass (Exit 309). Crews opened most of the eastbound side Monday night and finished opening the westbound side Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.
The new pattern provides at least two additional lanes in each direction and eliminates a longtime bottleneck that existed where three lanes dropped to two on I-40 East just past the Business 70 exit in Garner. It will instantly benefit traffic, which has been in a two- or three-lane pattern throughout this stretch since the project began in 2018.
While this nine-mile stretch is open to traffic, it is not yet in its final form. Work continues at the Jones Sausage Road interchange, U.S. 70 Business interchange, and Rock Quarry Road overpass, and lane closures will take place on the new stretch for the next several months as crews work to install the final layer of asphalt and final pavement markers over the closing phases of the project. Drivers are urged to remember this is still an active work zone and be mindful of crews working close to the travel lanes.
The final four miles of the widening project, from U.S. 70 to Cornwallis Road, and the overhaul of the N.C. 42 interchange are scheduled to be complete in late summer 2024.