Updated 07/19/2012 09:33 PM
Public gets first glimpse of Interstate 40 repaving project
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RALEIGH — To get to work, Tod Allen avoids using Interstate-440. The backups now might be small compared to what drivers could see in the future.
The N.C. Department of Transportation plans to repave portions of Interstate-40 and I-440 in South Raleigh. A paving project that spans 11 miles from the Jones Franklin Road overpass all the way down to near US 264.
Decades of wear and tear make the repaving necessary but drivers are concerned they face a long road ahead once it gets started.
"A three year project. That's a lot of people traveling to and from the park," said Raleigh resident Tod Allen.
The project is not set to start until some time in the spring of 2013. However, DOT officials are urging drivers to plan ahead and plan alternative routes during the reconstruction projects.
"We'll try to keep three lanes open as much as we can but there will be periods of time when we're down to two lanes in each direction. So you take that same amount of people same number of cars trying to go through two lanes versus what's out there today three and four lanes the traffic will back up. What we're saying is it is going to be bad," said N.C. DOT Engineer Wally Bowman.
On Thursday, the public got a chance to see how bad the project will make their commute. It was also a chance to speak with officials about how to avoid traffic delays. Allen says he understands the reason for the repaving.
"It's a necessary evil. You got to keep the infrastructure up," said Allen.
Officials estimate it will cost about $168 million to repave the 11 mile stretch of road. A construction company has not been chosen for the project yet. More public meetings will be scheduled for later this year.