Contractors working on a three-year, $130 million freeway repair project are still waiting for nights that are warm or dry enough to let them finish closing Interstate 440 lanes where they will spend the next year replacing the pavement, the state Department of Transportation says.
They’re working on a three-mile section of I-440 at the southeast corner of the Beltline. The two inside lanes are closed for most of this section on I-440 West (the Outer Beltline), and drivers there are using the outside lane and the shoulder. All lanes in the other direction, I-440 East, are still open.
DOT spokesman Steve Abbott said Wednesday that engineers now hope to resume the nighttime work on Monday, when it is expected to be warm enough to apply new lane stripes needed to send drivers in the right direction.
If weather permits, they’ll finish closing the two inside lanes of I-440 West on Monday, and then spend five or six nights closing the inside lanes on I-440 East. With luck, Abbott said, the lane closings will be finished and the new driving pattern – cars moved to two outside lanes – will be in place by the end of January.
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Concrete barriers will protect construction crews and allow them to work during the day to rebuild the inside lanes. When the inside lanes have been repaired, the work will shift to the outside lanes.
Some traffic delays are expected during rush hour. Starting in late 2014, similar work will shift to the busier I-40 section of the Beltline spanning eight miles of South Raleigh, where the traffic delays are expected to be much worse.