DOT to Triangle drivers: Name that traffic jam

bsiceloff@newsobserver.comAugust 13, 2012 

Southern Beltline repairs start in summer 2013 as crews replace all pavement on the 30-year-old expressway, digging two feet into the ground to remove cracked concrete. Traffic will be squeezed into two lanes each way, day and night, for months at a time.

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Or should we say ?

The state Department of Transportation is polling Triangle drivers online to choose the official nickname for a dreaded construction project that will turn Raleigh’s southern Beltline into a three-year traffic jam, starting next summer. “Crawleigh” is one of five finalists.

Road crews will dig up and replace every speck of concrete and asphalt on an 11-mile, eight-lane section of the Interstate 40 / 440 Beltline across south Raleigh, from U.S. 1 / 64 on the west side of town to U.S. 64 / 264 on the east side.

Traffic will be squeezed into two lanes each way for months at a time, day and night. The work starts in summer 2013 and won’t be finished until 2016.

DOT officials know we’re going to hate it – and perhaps hate them, too. They’re trying desperately to get us to laugh our way through this misery, instead. To make that happen, they have hired a sense of humor: Leah Friedman, a former reporter and trouble-shooting columnist for The News & Observer, a woman who enjoys a good laugh.

Friedman received public suggestions from 370 people, and she reduced them to a short list for public consideration:

Carmuda Triangle

Crawleigh

South-Wake Remake

Southern Discomfort

Wake-Over

The online polls are open until 12 noon Thursday. The winning nickname will be announced Aug. 22, and used in future official references to the project. The person who submitted the winning name “will be publicly announced and get major bragging rights,” Friedman said in a news release.

To vote for one of the five finalists, go to: http://tinyurl.com/I40Rebuild.

Siceloff: 919-829-4527 or blogs.newsobserver.com/crosstown or twitter.com/Road_Worrier/

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