Ramp from US 70 Business to I-40 in Wake County to close for good this weekend

One of the entrance ramps to Interstate 40 near White Oak Crossing will close this weekend and won’t be replaced until about the first of the year.

The loop that carries traffic from eastbound U.S. 70 Business on to westbound I-40 is scheduled to close permanently at 10 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3.

The loop will be replaced by a left turn at a new traffic light that will take drivers onto the ramp from westbound U.S. 70 Business to westbound I-40. The N.C. Department of Transportation says that left turn should be ready by Jan. 1, 2020.

In the meantime, drivers will be directed on a detour that takes them down to Greenfield Parkway, where they can turn around and use the westbound U.S. 70 Business ramp to get on I-40.

The reconfiguration of the interchange is part of a larger effort to widen an 11-mile stretch of I-40 from the Raleigh Beltline to N.C. 42 in the Cleveland community of Johnston County. The project also includes reconfiguring the interchange at N.C. 42 and replacing 15 bridges and isn’t expected to be completed until sometime in 2022.

Doing away with the loop ramp from eastbound U.S. 70 Business onto I-40 will eliminate the need for drivers to crisscross with westbound drivers getting off the interstate onto westbound U.S. 70 Business. NCDOT engineers try wherever they can to end that kind of traffic pattern, because the weaving traffic slows things down and can lead to accidents.

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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,