Expect delays as Durham Freeway lane shift begins

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Traffic will shift along a southbound stretch of the Durham Freeway.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation says drivers should anticipate delays on the Durham Freeway traveling southbound, as crews execute a planned lane-shift as part of the East End Connector build.

The NCDOT planned to close one of the southbound lanes on the freeway Friday night at 8 p.m. to shift both southbound lanes between Ellis Road and Briggs Avenue to two newly created median lanes, and then open traffic back up. The shift occurred Saturday morning.

Steve Abbott, a spokesperson for the Department of Transportation, said the lane shift itself is expected to cause delays for commuters and rush-hour travelers as folks travel through this portion.

The lane shift gives DOT crews a chance to work on the East End Connector interchange and is expect to last until June, when DOT crews will switch sides on the freeway to do the same kind of shift and interchange work on the northbound side.

"It will be real confusing," local motorist Lynn Harper said. "I'm sure there will be a lot of other people that are not really used to this type of traffic."

"I'll probably avoid it altogether now," driver Charles Howard said. "And if you have traffic going on Miami or something, I'll probably just take that instead of getting on the freeway just to avoid any situations."

While some drivers say they're not too happy about it, the Department of Transportation is asking people to slow down.

"We need people to go very slowly because instead of just a straight shot on the freeway you're going to be going this way, then this way, Abbot said moving his hands in a C-shape.

"And it's not long, like other projects in the area, but still it's going to slow traffic down so you need to plan ahead. There's going to be some delays."

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