View I-40 widening in a larger map
I-40 between Cary and West Raleigh will start getting wider tonight, finally, as construction crews start removing the orange cones so drivers can use all three lanes in each direction.
DOT officials warn drivers to watch out for a new traffic pattern that will take effect Tuesday morning. Drivers who go from northbound U.S. 1 to eastbound I-40 will see a yield sign for the first time, because they'll be required to merge with I-40 traffic. Previously, this U.S. 1 exit lane turned into a free-flowing lane on I-40, and no merging was required. (See traffic map attached to the end of this post.)
It's part of a $49 million project, to finish by the end of June, expanding I-40 from four to six lanes wide for 6.2 miles as it passes between Cary and West Raleigh from Harrison Avenue to Jones Franklin Road.
Road crews will spend the next couple of weeks, working at night to open the third lane in each direction about one mile at a time. The first section to become three lanes Monday night is the eastbound stretch that ends at the U.S. 1 interchange and the nearby Jones Franklin Road overpass. Each night, the work will move another mile west on the eastbound lanes, and then the work will start in the westbound lanes and move east.
But this project isn't quite finished. Still to come in the next eight weeks is the final top layer of asphalt, to be applied at night, and the final lane markings and stripes.