Nighttime construction crews will return soon to Interstate 40 in Durham County, starting work in early April on a $21.7 million project to replace bad concrete pavement with fresh asphalt.
The state Board of Transportation awarded the contract Thursday to Lane Construction Corp. of Meriden, Conn.
Lane will rip out a 3-inch layer of crumbling concrete from four lanes of I-40 -- the two outer lanes in each direction -- for 10.4 miles between U.S. 15-501 in Durham and N.C. 147 in Research Triangle Park.
The schedule is still being worked out. Phillip Johnson, the Department of Transportation engineer who will oversee the job, said the contractor could start work as soon as April 9.
Commuters and other daytime, weekday travelers will not be affected by construction, according to Lane's contract. Only nighttime work will be allowed, with some traffic lanes closed, between Monday and Friday and on most weekends.
Daytime work will be allowed on nine weekends, with some lanes closed from Friday evening to Monday morning.
A blunder by DOT made the repairs necessary. The concrete was poured in 2003 and 2004 as part of an I-40 widening project, and it was supposed to be good for 30 years. It began buckling and crumbling in 2005 because of construction mistakes that resulted from faulty instructions and lax oversight from DOT.
Lane has promised to limit traffic delays on nights and weekends when construction will shrink parts of I-40 to a single lane. Whenever work delays create traffic backup queues more than four miles long, Lane will be required to stop work.