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New I-40 Interchange Opening in Johnston County

Cleveland Road interchange bridge

​Cars traverse the Cleveland Road bridge in a two-lane pattern ahead of its opening to I-40 below for the first time this weekend.


CLAYTON – Drivers will encounter changes to how they access Interstate 40 in the Cleveland community outside Clayton starting tonight.

As part of the ongoing project to widen I-40 south of Raleigh, a contractor for the N.C. Department of Transportation is widening and reconfiguring the N.C. 42 bridge, and widening the Cleveland Road overpass to five lanes and giving it new access to I-40.

While the contractor has sought to minimize traffic disruptions, the time has come to temporarily close the N.C. 42 bridge for paving operations. When this bridge closes, the Cleveland Road interchange will simultaneously open for the first time to traffic to and from I-40 below.

The closing of the N.C. 42 bridge is scheduled to begin around 9 p.m. today and end the morning of April 22, at which time the Cleveland Road interchange will partially reclose.

While the N.C. 42 bridge is closed, the ramp to enter I-40 West and to exit from I-40 East will remain open.

This process will repeat the following weekend, April 26-29, if the weather cooperates. When the N.C 42 exit is closed, people should use the Cleveland Road exit to access N.C. 42.

Rapid Growth 

The project manager, Robert Bullock, said because Cleveland Road is less than a mile from N.C. 42, this new interchange will be Exit 312B, while the N.C. 42 junction will be adjusted to Exit 312A.

“We're seeing tremendous growth in Johnston County, so constructing a new interchange will take some pressure off the N.C. 42 interchange and help us plan for the future traffic growth we are expecting," said Bullock, who is the NCDOT Division 5 deputy construction engineer.

In just two years since the last census, Johnston County's residential population has grown by 8%, state demographic data show. The influx of people is bringing more congestion. The traffic volumes on N.C. 42 near Cleveland Road are forecasted to increase by 29% to more than 40,000 vehicles a day by 2040.

N.C. 42 Exit Getting New Traffic Pattern

Contractors are reconfiguring the N.C. 42 bridge into what's known as a diverging diamond interchange, which allows two directions of traffic to temporarily cross to the left side of the road. It moves high volumes of traffic through an intersection more efficiently. This new traffic pattern will be implemented soon, perhaps in late April, so drivers should continue to proceed slowly and with caution through this entire work area.

In the meantime, the Cleveland Road interchange is not expected to permanently be open to I-40 until this summer as the overall I-40 widening project nears completion. People can find project details at this NCDOT website.


4/19/2024 9:23 AM