Three years have gone by fairly quickly! Or maybe you don’t think so, if you’ve been driving on I-40. But the project is moving along and will be complete by the end of this year. We chatted with Steve Abbott at the NCDOT about how this project got started and the latest lane shifts.
Fortify NC Page – with updates and information
NC DOT Press Release
Fortify Project Starts Move to Final Traffic Pattern Next Week
RALEIGH – Drivers going through the Interstate 40 Fortify project work zone next week will notice some major changes taking place. Beginning Monday night, June 5, contractor crews will begin taking away median barrier walls and re-opening newly-built outside lanes on the westbound side of the highway that have been closed during construction. That will shift traffic into its final pattern, and provide more space for drivers.
The shifts will be done over several nights, with work starting from the Gorman Street exit and going back to the I-40/440 split in southeast Raleigh in stages. The work is weather dependent, as new traffic lines have to be put in place, and that can’t be done in rainy or high humidity conditions.
As the westbound traffic lanes are opening, crews will continue to work on the eastbound side, rebuilding those outside lanes. Once the westbound side of the project has been shifted into its final configuration, and as the schedule allows, crews will begin shifting portions of the eastbound lanes into their final pattern as well. This is expected to begin in early July.
With the exception of between Gorman Street and the U.S. 1 interchange in Cary, where there are three lanes open in each direction, the same number as before the project started, all traffic is expected to be in its final pattern by early to mid-August.
Once traffic is in that final pattern, the next major step will begin. This involves a resurfacing of the entire 8.5 miles of the project along I-40 in both directions, with permanent lane stripes and lane reflective markers as well. This will provide a smooth riding surface and improve the transitions on and off of bridges in the work zone. That work will last into the late fall, and is also weather conditional.
As with the lane re-openings, the resurfacing will take place overnight to lower the impact to travelers. However, lane closures will be in place to provide safer working conditions for the construction crews.
The opening of lanes in the final traffic pattern doesn’t mean there will be a change in the project speed limit of 60 miles per hour. Drivers are urged to continue to slow down and use extra caution while traveling through the work zone for their own safety as well as other drivers and passengers, and the workers.That is especially the case over the next few weeks as the western lanes go through their shifts.
Fortify project details, as well as traffic updates and live traffic cameras can be found on FortifyNC.com.