The closed runway is adjacent to Terminal 1 and will not affect travelers, according to RDU officials.
However, residents living near the airport may notice a slight adjustment in flight patterns as all commercial aircraft are routed to the runway adjacent to Terminal 2.
"That is our busiest runway even when both runways are open, because larger aircraft do land on that runway," said Mindy Hamlin with RDU.
RDU says the project will take about four weeks to complete and the runway will reopen on or before June 17.
The lighting project includes replacing incandescent lights around the airport with more energy efficient LED fixtures. Fixtures will be placed in airfield guidance signs, runway centerline lights and touch-down zone lights.
"The lights that we currently have need maintenance on average about every six months," Hamlin said.
The $9.4 million lighting project is supported with a $5.9 million grant in federal stimulus funds and a $2.5 million state grant.
"We will use that money for other projects it does allow us to do other projects that we need to do at the airport and one of the best things about this project is the energy efficiency of the lights," Hamlin said.
When complete, RDU will have replaced nearly 2,000 incandescent lights with LED fixtures.
On average, LED fixtures last between 10 and 15 years, compared to incandescent lights that require maintenance every six months.
Meanwhile, the RDU Airport Authority is also speeding up construction of the second phase of Terminal 2 to open in time for the NHL All Star game next year.
The vote took place Thursday at their monthly meeting.
Officials are working with contractors to open Terminal 2 on January 23. The game takes place January 30.