RALEIGH – Work on the Poole Road exit of I-440 for the Fortify project will require another ramp closure this weekend. On Friday, Oct. 3, crews will begin closing the ramp from Poole Road onto I-440 West. The ramp will be re-opened by 6 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 6, weather permitting. The work will also require the closure of the outside lane of westbound Poole Road in the same area.
Similar closures were in place last week for the I-440 East ramp onto Poole Road, and the previous week for the ramp onto Poole Road from I-440 West ramp. The closures are needed so crews can complete pavement reconstruction at the top of each of the ramps for the tie-in between the newly rebuilt ramps and Poole Road.
There will be separate detours for east and westbound drivers. Heading east on Poole Road (away from downtown Raleigh), motorists will be directed to turn left on New Hope Road and then west on I-495/U.S. 64/264 to get back to I-440. Westbound Poole Road drivers (heading toward downtown), will be sent right on Sunnybrook Road and right on New Bern Avenue to the I-440 interchange.
The N.C. Department of Transportation reminds drivers to 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 for their safety, as well as the safety of passengers, other motorists and the crews working along the highway.
This ramp work is another step toward the expected completion of the I-440 portion of the Fortify project late this year. Crews are working on the outside lanes of both east and westbound I-440, rebuilding those lanes from the substructure to the highway surface.
Once the I-440 section of Fortify is done, the main focus of work will switch to the longer 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. Crews will do the same road replacement work on I-40, and have been doing prep work along the interstate for several months, with bridge widening and shoulder strengthening 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 focused on I-440 so it will be available as a possible alternate route for drivers to consider to get around construction on I-40, where traffic will be in a three-lane pattern in both directions for the duration of the project.
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 mph.