Commuters from Johnston County to Raleigh expect headaches with major interchange’s closure

Johnston County News

GARNER, N.C. (WNCN) – The commute to Raleigh from Johnston County is about to get worse along U.S. Route 70 Business, at least temporarily.

Work has been going on for some time to add two lanes in each direction between Clayton and I-440 beltline, but for the next two months that means closing a busy access point.

The upcoming closure of the loop from U.S. 70 east to Interstate 40 west is going to cause a headache for those commuting to Raleigh from Johnston County.

The loop will be closed through the end of the year in an effort to make the area around I-40 and US-70 Business safer.

It will force about 3,700 drivers to detour a mile down to Greenfield Parkway. They will then exit and drive another mile back to I-40 west toward Raleigh.

“People that drive there know that it backs up with traffic bobbing and weaving to get on or off 40 there, and so that’s a safety concern,” said Marty Homan.

“Our contractors are closing down the loop from business 70 east to I-40 west. That’s a permanent closure.”

Homan added that the project will “greatly improve access in and out of the area.”

The entire trip took a CBS 17 crew about three and a half minutes without traffic. Drivers like Gail Poythress are concerned about what it will look like during rush hour.

“Everybody is in a hurry now,” said Poythress. “Everybody is a little rude sometimes. When you get that extra time that they’re going to have to panic and get places, I think it will make a big change.”

Some drivers said they’ll turn to technology to find better routes. Others are asking the North Carolina Department of Transportation to hold off on closing the loop.

“It will be a two-month headache, but it will be better all the way around for everyone when it opens,” said Homan.

Work on the interchange is scheduled to finish by Jan. 1, 2020. The entire project that will add two lanes in each direction along I-40 should be done by 2022.

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