Update On I-40 Widening Project In Johnston And Wake Counties

The contractor for the project to improve Interstate 40 between I-440 (Exit 301) in Raleigh and north of Cornwallis Road in Cleveland, including improvements to NC 42 and Cleveland Road, will begin placing median barrier walls in place next week to separate traffic from the worksite and protect the working crews.

The project got under way in November with paving work and traffic shifts to prepare for construction.

Staring Sunday, Dec. 9, the contractor will begin installing the barrier wall on eastbound I-40 between Rock Quarry Road and U.S. 70 Business. Because this distance is nearly four miles long, the placement will be done in stages, and may take several days. Once crews reach U.S. 70 Business, they will turn around and install the median barrier wall on the westbound side of I-40 until Rock Quarry Road. As usual, these upcoming barrier placements are weather and temperature dependent.

Because this I-40 corridor is heavily used, and space will be tighter throughout the work zone, towing crews will be removing all vehicles within 30 minutes of an accident or abandonment 24 hours a day. All calls regarding information on a towed vehicle within the project work zone should be directed to East Coast Towing at 919-835-0705.

The project work zone will also be a designated Smart Work Zone. It is a system of several sensors and message boards, placed throughout and outside of a project’s limits, to more accurately detect travel times and provide alternative routes for drivers if needed. Signs to direct motorists through these alternate routes have been preemptively placed should an emergency require their use.

Intermittent speed limit reductions will be in effect in portions where crews may be working. The speed limit will be reduced to 55 mph in these portions and will be indicated by electronic-display speed-limit signs. Motorists are also reminded to pay attention to traffic patterns and avoid tailgating when traveling through the work zone.

The state plans to add two lanes in each direction to a nearly 12-mile stretch of I-40 between the merge with I-440 on the south side of Raleigh and NC 42 in Johnston County.

The project will also redesign the I-40 interchange with NC 42 at Exit 312 in Johnston County, with a new ramp alignment and traffic pattern. The expanded interchange is expected to alleviate heavy traffic conditions that currently exist at the exit.