Some daytime Crawleigh work delayed

A plan to better accommodate drivers is pushing back daytime lane closures on I-40/440.
December 5, 2013 3:39:15 PM PST
Drivers are getting a bit of a reprieve on the Crawleigh project on Interstate 40 and 440.

A plan to better accommodate drivers is pushing back the daytime lane closures that were supposed to start Thursday.

The original plan would have had traffic down to just one lane from I-40 east and west onto I-440 through the construction zone. However, the contractor decided they needed a better plan to accommodate drivers, and try to prevent any possible back-ups.

"To help with the traffic, we're going to try to have two lanes coming in from both sides," said NCDOT's Steve Abbott. "We're going to work on that and that's what the contractor and the DOT are going to do over the next few days."

Some commuters told ABC11 that announcing a plan on Tuesday that's slated to go into effect Thursday and then deciding Wednesday to change it reeks of bumbling.

"It doesn't feel like they had a plan," said Olivia Simons. "Realistically, they didn't have a plan. So it's feeling like they're just prolonging the inevitable."

"They don't know what they're doing," said Bryan Friend. "That's only thing I can say that they don't know what they're doing."

"We're always looking for ways to improve things and tweak things because the thing's not set in stone as we go in," said Abbot. "They looked at it and said, 'You know, we can do a better job on the traffic pattern and change the pattern.'"

However, not all commuters who exit an already bumper-to-bumper I-40 onto I-440 are buying that.

"It won't improve. It won't. No way. I can't see it.  I can't see it," said Friend.

However, when pressed, some critics said they will give DOT the benefit of the doubt.

"I'm an eternal optimist.  I would like to give that to them," said Simons. "Maybe I'll be generous today and give it to them today, but the jury is still out. It's a wait and see kind of thing."

This change does not affect the work on I-440 east that's happening this week. Crews are working on the outside lane between the I-40/440 split and U.S. Highway 64/264. That lane will open back up at 5 a.m.

Those daytime closures should happen sometimes next week. The exact day is not known.

This year-long three mile section of the complete rebuild of this road is only the beginning of the pain.

About this time in 2014, the plan is to close lanes from at the I-40 split all the way to U.S. Highway 1 in west Raleigh. That will take two years to complete.

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