How to tell a newcomer from a long-time Raleigh resident: The newcomer gets and gives all traffic directions based on the Beltline, that route ’round the Capital City, with its numbered exits and confusing directions. Is it really east, or are they messing with us and it’s actually north? The long-timer just says to a direction-giver: “Aw, don’t tell me about the Beltline. I’ve never been on the Beltline.”
So here’s advice for the upcoming Labor Day weekend: Make friends with an old-timer.
Highway workers are getting ready to close an eastbound travel lane between Hammond Road and Rock Quarry Road, so the shifting in traffic and narrowed lanes on the Beltline will continue. Traffic slowdowns overall around Beltline construction could run 30 minutes. The westbound lanes, between the I-40/I-440 split and Lake Wheeler Road, will be shifting and narrowing as well in the weeks to come.
It’s all part of a three-year plan to replace a concrete roadway foundation that is crumbling.
The state Department of Transportation is suggesting that drivers who have to use the Beltline keep cool and patient, because delays are inevitable. And those who can should avoid the Beltline and take alternate routes, and that’s the best alternative, unless the person inside your GPS gets angry and quits speaking to you.