Wake County

Beltline overhaul to close Wade Avenue ramp for two years

The exit ramp that carries drivers from westbound Interstate 440 on to eastbound Wade Avenue will close late Monday night and isn’t expected to reopen for about two years.

The closure is part of the multi-year effort to widen the Beltline between Wade Avenue and Interstate 40 and to reconfigure the interchanges at Wade, Hillsborough Street and Western Boulevard.

Closing the loop ramp onto eastbound Wade will give contractors room to build a temporary ramp from eastbound Wade on to westbound I-440 while they work on the final alignment, according to the N.C. Department of Transportation.

NCDOT says about 1,800 cars and trucks use the ramp to get on eastbound Wade each day. They will be directed to go a few hundred feet further to the Hillsborough Street exit and turn around to get back to Wade.

The ramp is scheduled to close at 11 p.m. Monday.

In addition, contractors will be closing the exit ramp from westbound I-440 onto eastbound Western Boulevard from midnight Sunday until about 5 a.m. Monday so they can install concrete barriers. The same closure is scheduled to take place on the ramp from westbound I-440 onto Melbourne Road starting at midnight on Tuesday, Nov. 19.

Meanwhile, NCDOT on Friday announced two additional overnight closures beginning at midnight Tuesday through 5 a.m. Wednesday for eastbound I-440 onto eastbound Western Boulevard and eastbound Western Boulevard onto eastbound I-440.

The Beltline project got underway this summer and is expected to take four years to complete. Under its arrangement with NCDOT, the contractor must keep four lanes of traffic on the highway open during the day but will be able to close lanes as needed at night.

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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 20 at The N&O. 919-829-4739, rstradling@newsobserver.com.