Road Worrier Blog

NCDOT doesn’t know when the I-440 Beltline squeeze will start

Workers on a three-year project to rebuild the southern Beltline are expected sometime this week to start closing lanes for daytime travel, but the change won’t start Tuesday.

(Update, 10 a.m. Tuesday: The change won’t start Wednesday, DOT construction engineer Dennis Jernigan says.)

State Department of Transportation engineers had planned last week to start closing two inside lanes, in both directions, on three miles of I-440 between the Beltline’s I-40 split and U.S. 64/264 in East Raleigh. They postponed the closings in order to consider a change in the traffic pattern that might reduce the ensuing rush-hour congestion expected to continue for the duration of the repair project.

The daytime lane closings won’t start until workers have a chance to change the roadway lane stripes overnight, a DOT spokesman said. That could have happened as soon as Monday night, but the rainy weather forced a postponement.

Commuters may find that the lane closings will begin with short public notice. DOT engineers waited until nearly 4 p.m. Monday to announce that the project contractor had postponed the lane closings until Tuesday night – at the earliest.

It’s part of a three-year, $130 million repair job for 11.5 miles of the Beltline from U.S. 1 in West Raleigh to U.S. 64/264 in East Raleigh. DOT will spend the next year digging out and replacing all the pavement on the 3-mile I-440 portion in Southeast Raleigh, and then turn to the longer, busier I-40 section across South Raleigh.