Detour ahead: East Garner Road is closing for a year later this month

The closing date has changed since this story was published. See story for update.

East Garner Road will be closed where it crosses Interstate 40 for a year starting next week, while contractors for the N.C. Department of Transportation replace the bridge.

The new span is needed to make room for the widening of I-40 from six to 10 lanes under the bridge. NCDOT has begun a multi-year effort to add two lanes to I-40 between the Beltline in Raleigh and the N.C. 42 interchange in Johnston County.

The bridge originally was scheduled to close Monday, May 13. The closing is now scheduled for May 29.

Drivers will still be able to reach destinations on both sides of the bridge, including East Garner Middle School and the Martin Marietta quarry. Detours will direct people going in both directions to use U.S. 70 Business via Jones Sausage and Auburn Knightdale roads.

NCDOT is spending $330 million to widen an 11-mile stretch of I-40 and to reconfigure the interchange at N.C. 42, with a new traffic pattern and new ramps to give drivers the option of getting on or off at nearby Cleveland Road.

The work entails replacing 15 bridges, including ones that carry Rock Quarry and White Oak roads over the highway, and isn’t expected to be completed until sometime in 2022.

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Richard Stradling covers transportation for The News & Observer. Planes, trains and automobiles, plus ferries, bicycles, scooters and just plain walking. Also, #census2020. He’s been a reporter or editor for 32 years, including the last 19 at The N&O. 919-829-4739, rstradling@newsobserver.com.