Additional lane could create less congestion during 'Crawleigh' - WRBL

Additional lane could create less congestion during 'Crawleigh'

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Drivers could see less traffic congestions when construction crews begin rebuilding an 11.5 mile stretch of Interstate 40 and 440.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation awarded the building contract to Granite Construction Company and RS&H Architects-Engineers-Planners Inc. Tuesday morning. The company will do the work while keeping three lanes open instead of two in each direction on the I-40 portion of the project.

The project is expected to begin in January and be completed sometime in the middle of 2016.

In March, the North Carolina DOT opened bids from four design-build teams, and Granite/RS&H had the lowest bid of $130,129,000. DOT engineers estimated the project would cost $193,428,882.

After opening the bids, DOT Secretary Tony Tata asked engineers and outside consultant groups to conduct a further review of all aspects of the project, including the road condition, travelers' safety and traffic impacts, before making a final decision to proceed.

"The Department needed to ensure we're taking the right steps on a project that will impact nearly everyone that lives in, works in or travels through Wake County," Tata said in a press release.

Currently, 110,000 cars travel every day on the stretch of I-40 that will be under repair, and the DOT wants at least 30,000 cars to divert from the project area.

To help, the DOT is allocating up to $12 million to create bus routes from Johnston County into Raleigh and increase frequency on current bus routes for the life of the project.

The project entails rebuilding 11.5 miles on I-40/I-440 -- from west of Jones Franklin Road in Cary to north of U.S. 64/264 in Raleigh. The road is more than 30 years old, and it is crumbling due to a chemical reaction between the rock and the cement.

The original plan had the project completed in three years. Under the new plan it would be completed in two and a half years.

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