Local/State

Bid comes in under budget for 'Crawleigh'

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A three year traffic nightmare for thousands of commuters in the Triangle is one step closer to becoming a reality.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation has found a tentative pick for the contractor it wants to head up "Crawleigh," the redo of 11 miles of Interstate 40 through Wake County.

Granite Construction out of Tampa, Fla. will be given the job, pending final approval. Their bid is more than $63 million under DOT estimates for the projects.

The state still has to review the bid received Tuesday before it is official.

DOT officials told ABC11 there will be lots of preliminary work on the project, and lane closures most likely won't begin until the end of the year.

An 11-mile stretch of I-40/440 south of Raleigh will be reduced from four to two lanes, which could turn the already overcrowded highway into a parking lot.

"It's going to be a nightmare. I'm going to have to start building in some more extra time.  Cutting down 40 to two lanes both directions is going to slow down even if I'm going against traffic," said commuter William Moss.  

Contractors will replace the pavement on I-40 between west of the Jones Franklin Road overpass and the exit for I-440/U.S. 64, and on I-440 between I-40/U.S. 64 and just north of U.S. 264 (Knightdale Bypass).

Click here for more on the project details.

The project will also add extra travel lanes between ramps in each direction on I-40/U.S. 64 between U.S. 1/64 (Exit 293) and Lake Wheeler Road (Exit 297), as well as an extra westbound lane on I-40/U.S. 64 between the ramps at Rock Quarry Road (Exit 300) and the I-40/US 64/I-440 interchange (Exit 301).

In addition, 14 bridges on I-40 and I-440 will be rehabilitated.

The DOT said the highway is 30 years old, and workers need to dig down at least two feet to remove and replace concrete and asphalt on the road, shoulders and ramps. Officials estimate the project will take three years to complete.

"Wish they could do it quicker.  Three years seems like a long time," commuter James Freeman said.

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Tags:
wake county, i40, i440, local/state, ed crump
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