On Wednesday, the name of the project -- which was submitted by the very people who will have to deal with the backups -- won the NCDOT project naming contest by a large margin.
Out of 4,752 votes, "Crawleigh" received 2,360. It was also the most popular name to be nominated. About 40 people submitted it for the grand prize of major bragging rights.
The other four finalists were; "Carmuda Triangle," "Southern Discomfort," "South-Wake Remake," and "Wake-Over." Some that did not make the list, "Fortyfication" and "Lordy, Lordy get me off 40."
The contest was an effort by the state DOT to try and make drivers smile ahead of the start of the repairing and improving of an 11 mile stretch of I-40/440 south of Raleigh.
"I think it's better to laugh than cry, but really, we're using this to get the word out. We need people to start thinking now. We have until spring and summer to get people thinking about their alternate routes, and we want them to think about it now," said Leah Friedman with the DOT.
The DOT said the highway is 30 years old, and workers need to dig down at least two feet to remove and replace concrete and asphalt on the road, shoulders and ramps.
Contractors will replace the pavement on I-40 between west of the Jones Franklin Road overpass and the exit for I-440/U.S. 64, and on I-440 between I-40/U.S. 64 and just north of U.S. 264 (Knightdale Bypass).
The project will also add extra travel lanes between ramps in each direction on I-40/U.S. 64 between U.S. 1/64 (Exit 293) and Lake Wheeler Road (Exit 297), as well as an extra westbound lane on I-40/U.S. 64 between the ramps at Rock Quarry Road (Exit 300) and the I-40/US 64/I-440 interchange (Exit 301).
In addition, 14 bridges on I-40 and I-440 will be rehabilitated.
The work is expected to take three years and will mean narrowing I-40 to two lanes day and night. That could turn the already overcrowded highway into a parking lot.