What is the I-440 at Glenwood Avenue project?
The N.C. Department of Transportation is studying possible upgrades to the current I-440 (Raleigh “Beltline") at Glenwood Avenue interchange in order to accommodate high traffic volumes and future growth in the area. The project also includes improvements at the intersection of Glenwood Avenue and Blue Ridge/Lead Mine roads and the replacement of the bridge on Blue Ridge Road over Crabtree Creek.
What is the purpose of the project?
The intent of the project is to address congestion and safety concerns at the I-440/Glenwood Avenue interchange and at the intersection of Glenwood Avenue and Blue Ridge/Lead Mine roads. In addition, the project also includes the replacement of the state-maintained bridge No. 494 on Blue Ridge Road over Crabtree Creek, which NCDOT had previously identified as needing replacement. NCDOT will also consider improvements to bicycle and pedestrian connections and ways to support transit operations in the Crabtree Valley area as part of the project.
Why is this project needed?
Originally constructed in the 1960s (and upgraded in the 1990s), the Glenwood Avenue interchange on I-440 cannot handle the volume of traffic that uses the interchange today. Additionally, forecasted growth in the region is expected to result in more congestion and to worsen traffic flow at the interchange and on surrounding roadways. The existing roads can only handle a limited amount of traffic before drivers experience problems; since the amount of traffic is expected to increase in the future, these limits create safety issues and congested conditions for drivers that need to be addressed.
How will the work done for the City of Raleigh's 2011 Crabtree Valley Area Transportation Study be incorporated in the I-440 at Glenwood Avenue project?
The City of Raleigh's 2011
Crabtree Valley Area Transportation Study: Vision for the Valley identified transportation-related needs in the Crabtree Valley area and recommended a number of improvements to address these needs. With the information in this study, the city, working with the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, recommended the I-440 at Glenwood Avenue project for funding in the NCDOT State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).
Although the 2011 city report enabled NCDOT to include the project in the STIP, the current project will use an entirely new set of data to identify the critical needs within the area being studied around the interchange and to assess potential options.
The NCDOT study of I-440 at Glenwood Avenue began in late 2017 and includes an updated set of traffic, environmental and community studies and analyses, as well as extensive outreach to stakeholders and community members.
Although the 2011 city report provides useful background information, NCDOT will rely on the new studies and public input to develop project concepts and to assess their potential impacts.
How will options for the project be studied and a preferred design be selected?
NCDOT is following a structured planning process to collect data, develop transportation design options and assess the impacts of those options; and will ultimately prepare a federal environmental document that summarizes this effort.
For this report, the various technical studies evaluating current and future traffic, environmental and community conditions and potential project impacts will be combined into an environmental analysis that compares the social, economic and environmental impacts of the design options that are developed.
All public feedback received during the project study will be incorporated into the analysis, and NCDOT will use all this information to recommend an alternative that best meets the overall needs identified while balancing the potential benefits and impacts.
What is a “study area," and what does that mean?
At the start of the project effort, NCDOT identified a “study area" to represent the area where physical changes
might occur as a result of the project.
As part of the study, NCDOT and the consultant team will gather data on all the characteristics of this study area- including the natural, cultural, and community resources. However, to understand the full impact of the project, NCDOT looks at a much larger area to determine the project's impact to local and regional traffic patterns, as well as the broader community.
The study area for the project is different from what was shown to the public in 2018. Why has it changed?
When reviewing the traffic information for the project area, NCDOT concluded that improvements to the existing interchange at I-440 and Glenwood Avenue might require the construction of auxiliary lanes on both sides of I-440 between Glenwood Avenue and Lake Boone Trail. These lanes will only be constructed if the design option selected for the project requires them in order to address congestion issues at the I-440 and Glenwood Avenue interchange.
At this time, NCDOT is only collecting data about the additional study area; a decision about whether these auxiliary lanes will be needed will be made when a preferred design option is selected.
What will NCDOT consider when deciding on a preferred design?
When deciding on the preferred design for the project, NCDOT must consider the impacts (either beneficial or adverse) to the following:
- Natural resources (wetlands, water quality, wildlife, habitats, endangered species)
- Cultural resources (historic architectural properties, archaeological sites)
- Community resources (businesses, neighborhoods, schools, parks, greenways, etc.)
- The public, including multimodal users and vulnerable populations
- Current and projected land use
- Flood plains
- Noise and air quality conditions
- Traffic and safety for vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists and transit riders
Studies conducted for this project will assess the potential impacts of various possible transportation solutions and will include recommendations on how to avoid, minimize or mitigate for potential impacts.
Will the project include pedestrian and bicycle facilities on area roadways?
Existing sidewalks, bicycle lanes and greenways impacted by project improvements would be replaced as a part of the project.
NCDOT will also assess whether additional pedestrian and bicycle facilities would address current safety issues and mobility challenges and therefore be constructed as part of this project, working closely with the City of Raleigh, to reflect their vision for multimodal facilities in the area.
Bus transit routes and facilities will also be considered as part of the project planning and design process.
Will the project contribute to flooding in the Crabtree Valley area?
NCDOT is well aware of the flooding that occurs along Crabtree Creek during storm events, and the project's potential to impact the existing flood plain is a major consideration. As design options are developed, the project team will use a detailed computer model of the study area to determine whether the design options will increase flooding during storm events.
Options that increase the potential for flooding will not be considered. NCDOT will also investigate design measures and treatment options that further minimize the impacts of stormwater runoff within the study area.
Who are the stakeholders for this project?
Stakeholders are individuals and organizations who have interests in the project area. These include people who live, work, travel through or visit the project area.
Stakeholders might have interests that could be affected as a result of project construction or project completion – whether these include a business or home that could be impacted by project construction or a driver that uses the streets within the project area for getting to work, shopping or services.
NCDOT held several stakeholder meetings in 2018 that focused on those organizations and groups of individuals most likely to be directly affected by the project.
Does the public have any say in this project?
Public input will be key in developing design options, assessing the impacts of those options, and recommending an alternative for construction.
NCDOT will need input on the public's concerns. For example, how does the project affect your property? How does it affect your ability to travel within or in/out of your neighborhood? Does it impact areas or features (parks, schools, greenways, churches, businesses) that are important to you?
The collective public input is important and is fully considered in deciding what will be constructed.
What is the proposed schedule for the project?
The NCDOT study of I-440 at Glenwood Avenue began in late 2017. The project team collected extensive data, conducted field reviews and prepared technical reports to document existing transportation, community, environmental and physical conditions in the area.
NCDOT held meetings with resource and regulatory agencies, local transportation staff and project area stakeholders in the spring and summer of 2018. NCDOT held three listening sessions in September 2018 to gather specific feedback and concerns about the project from neighborhoods and communities.
The input from all the stakeholders, along with the data about the study area, will be used to develop design options for the project.
Public meetings and additional outreach will be scheduled in 2019 to provide the public with an opportunity to review the initial design options.
Comments received at these meetings will be used to narrow down the options to those that will receive even more in-depth consideration.
The final decision on the design option to be constructed will be made following completion of all technical studies and additional public outreach.
As part of an overall departmental effort to balance the available funds for projects statewide, NCDOT recently adjusted the project schedule such that construction is now expected to begin in 2025.
How much will the project cost?
The current budget for the project, which includes costs for improvements at the I-440 and Glenwood Avenue interchange as well as the intersection of Glenwood Avenue and Blue Ridge/Lead Mine roads, is approximately $237.1 million.
Updated cost estimates will be developed for the project as part of the current study process, and this information will be provided to the public during future public meetings.
Who is managing the project?
This project is being managed by NCDOT. NCDOT has engaged a team of consultants to study the project area, develop design options and complete the final environmental analysis for the project. All of the consultants working on the project report to NCDOT.
How is the City of Raleigh involved with this project?
NCDOT has been working closely with the City of Raleigh since the start of the project study. City representatives provide important feedback on the transportation needs within the area as well as the community sentiment about the project. The city will remain involved throughout the project's development and construction.
Who should I contact if I have questions?
Please feel free to send a message to NCDOT project manager David Stark, P.E., using
this online form, or send a message to consultant project manager Beth Smyre, P.E., at
How can I join the mailing list?
You can subscribe to the mailing list through
NCDOT's public input portal. It also provides project information updates and an opportunity to provide input, including several questions regarding transportation needs and community resources and an open-ended question for any other information that you would like to share,