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Rain delays opening of new stretch of I-40

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A new stretch of I-40 will have to wait a little longer to open.

Drivers will have to wait a little longer before a two-mile stretch of Interstate 40 is opened to drivers.

Crews were supposed to open the section from Lake Wheeler Road to Avent Ferry Road on Friday night. The contractor postponed the work because of the rain.

The work is expected to start again Sunday.

The NC DOT said once the road opens, it'll make a big difference.

"The ride should be a lot smoother. You don't have to worry about the potholes and all that. Brand new lane markings have gone down, so you'll be able to see everything," said NC DOT spokesperson Steve Abbott.

The Fortify project began in 2013 after 30-year pavement started cracking and crumbling.

Crews have been rebuilding the highway.

The DOT says other sections of the new interstate will be opening in the months ahead. In early July, the westbound side of the 40-440 split will open. The entire new interstate should be open to traffic shortly after.

"We expect actually to have everybody on the brand new inside lanes late this summer, early fall," Abbott said.

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