The project near the Wade Avenue exit in Raleigh was supposed to be complete by 6 a.m., but by 6:30 a.m., traffic was backed up four miles and by 7 a.m., traffic was backed up 10 miles to Gorman Street.
Rae Contracting told Eyewitness News the company had a problem at an asphalt plant. When crews realized they had a problem, they had to stop grinding the old surface on I-40.
However, there were delays getting asphalt to the section they had already ground up. Crews then had to get asphalt from another plant.
It is not clear what caused the initial problem at the asphalt plant.
Department of Transportation officicals said the firm will be fined $15,000 for not finishing work by the morning deadline.
Paving on I-40 should be complete within the next few months.