RALEIGH – Crews working on the I-440 section of the Fortify rebuild project will have another ramp closure in effect this weekend. It will be the ramp from I-440 East onto Poole Road that is shut down between 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 26, and 6 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 29, weather permitting. A similar closure was in place for the I-440 West ramp to Poole Road last weekend.
In addition to the ramp closure, the outside westbound lane of Poole Road will also be closed through the weekend. The closures are needed so crews can safely complete the tie-in between the newly rebuilt ramp and Poole Road.
The signed detour route will have I-440 East drivers who want to access Poole Road in either direction get off the interstate one exit earlier at I-495/U.S.64/264 (Exit 14). They will go to the first exit, South New Hope Road (Exit 420), and turn left at the traffic light at the end of the ramp to get to Poole Road.
The N.C. Department of Transportation reminds drivers to slow down, use caution and obey the speed limit of 55 mph in the I-440 work zone and 60 mph in the I-40 work zone.
Work on the outside lanes of I-440 East has been progressing since traffic was shifted from those lanes to the newly built inside lanes in mid-August. Since then, crews have been tearing up and rebuilding those outside lanes and ramps. The same traffic shift to the new inside lanes of I-440 West took place one month earlier and paving of those outside lanes is also underway.
The I-440 section of Fortify is still on schedule to be completed late this year. Then the main focus of work will be on the larger I-40 section of the project between the
I-440/U.S. 1/64 interchange in Cary and the I-440 split in southwest Raleigh. Work on the I-40 section actually started several months ago with bridge widening and shoulder strengthening still under way in several locations.
The Fortify project involves the removal and replacement of the highway surface and substructure along 11.5 miles of interstate on I-40 and I-440. A chemical reaction in the 40-year-old substructure of the roadway is causing it to crumble, and in turn, damaging the road surface. That required constant repairs, and led to concerns of ongoing major travel disruptions along one of the state’s busiest stretches of highway.
The initial phase has focused on the I-440 section so it will be available as one of the alternate routes for drivers to get around the construction on I-40 when traffic is placed in a three-lane pattern both directions.
Because of the expected traffic impact of the project, especially when work is under way full-time on I-40, NCDOT is partnered with Go Triangle, Triangle Transit and Capital Area Transit to promote options to help motorists avoid traveling through the work zone at peak travel times. A Fortify website provides comprehensive information, including alternate transit options, project maps and links to live traffic cameras. Employers can also access online resources to help them develop and implement a flexible work program. The site includes links to Twitter, Facebook and other social media to stay engaged with NCDOT and other commuters.
Triangle Transit created new commuting options that include express bus service from Johnston County (JCX) and additional service from eastern Wake County. There is also a park and ride lot at the Wal-Mart at the Cleveland Crossings Shopping Center at I-40 and N.C. 42 for catching the JCX or meeting with carpoolers and vanpoolers to share a ride. To learn more about finding a carpool or vanpool, visit www.sharetheridenc.org.
More new routes, including from Cary through west Raleigh and N.C. State University into downtown Raleigh, as well as a route from Fuquay-Varina into Raleigh are scheduled to begin as the project focus shifts to I-40.
Bus On Shoulder System (BOSS) is now active along I-40 from Raleigh to Exit 312 for N.C. 42. BOSS enables buses on designated routes to travel in the shoulder of the interstate as long as traffic in travel lanes is moving at speeds lower than 35 miles per hour.