Road Worrier Blog

December 15, 2013

Got a Plan B? Raleigh’s #BeltlineJam has begun

Late to work this morning? Two lanes on I-440 West (Outer Beltline) will be closed for the next year, and thousands of commtuers feel the squeeze starting Monday – either when they head to work, or when they head home.

They said it was coming, and now it’s here. On Monday morning, thousands of commuters and other drivers who rely on Raleigh’s southern Beltline began feeling the effects of a three-year repair project.

The two inside lanes of I-440 West (the Outer Beltline) in Southeast Raleigh are closed, and they’ll be closed for months. Traffic has been pushed into the outside lane and onto the shoulder. It starts at the I-40 split, and that means traffic could get backed up as drivers try to enter this end of I-440 from I-40.

Within a few days, the two lanes will be closed for a three-mile stretch, from I-40 to the U.S. 64/264 exit in East Raleigh. For now, these delays do NOT affect drivers on I-440 East (the Inner Beltline). But after the Christmas holiday, the road crews will close the two inside lanes on I-440 East also.

That means a lot of us can expect this week to be late to work, or late getting home, until we adjust to this – if it’s possible to adjust to this.

Were you late to work this morning? Please share your Beltline Jam experience Monday and later this week. If you’ve found a way to avoid the hassle, what’s your secret? A back road? A carpool? Telecommuting? Selling the house in Clayton?

Use the #BeltlineJam hashtag to report your experience and your route on Twitter, or email me at bruce.siceloff@newsobserver.com.

Johnston County commuters who work in downtown Raleigh have a new option starting Monday morning: Catch the bus. Triangle Transit and Capital Area Transit are starting the Johnston County Express (JCX) route from the Walmart parking lot on N.C. 42. Download a PDF file at bit.ly/18u9ZVz for the details and schedule.

The JCX bus is free of charge for the first couple of weeks. And when I-40 gets backed up, car drivers will see the JCX bus rolling onto the freeway shoulder to slide around the congestion. More info at the NCDOT project site: ncdot.gov/fortifync/.

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This blog is all about getting around in the Triangle. Bad drivers and traffic hassles. Gas taxes and transportation politics. Public transit and other auto alternatives. The blog is maintained by N&O transportation reporter Bruce Siceloff, whose Road Worrier column is published each Tuesday.

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