Plans to move a two-mile stretch of the westbound lanes of Interstate 40 on the south side of Raleigh onto new pavement late Friday have been postponed until overnight on Sunday.
Granite Construction Co. planned to shift three lanes of traffic from just west of Lake Wheeler Road (Exit 297) to west of the Avent Ferry Road bridge overnight Friday, but rain has pushed the move back to Sunday, according to the N.C. Department of Transportation. A similar shift for eastbound I-40 traffic took place in the same area last month.
The move will put westbound motorists on new, smooth pavement. Concrete barriers will be put in place before workers begin tearing up the old roadway.
DOT and Granite started rebuilding the southern Beltline – 3.5 miles of I-440 plus the 8 miles of I-40 – in December 2013. The concrete roadbed had crumbled over the past decade, DOT says, because of an unforeseen chemical reaction that is not uncommon in highways built during the 1980s across the nation.
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Granite began shifting drivers onto new pavement in May and will continue the process in segments until all traffic on the I-40 part of the project will be on the smooth surface by early fall. The next section to change will be the westbound lanes near the I-40/440 split in Southeast Raleigh in the next few weeks, DOT says.
The speed limit will remain 60 miles per hour on the new pavement, as workers replace the old lanes on the other side of the barriers. The project, now estimated to cost about $180 million, is not expected to be completed until September 2017.