HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN)– A major road project to widen eleven miles of Interstate 40 is moving forward in Orange County after being first discussed in 2006.
“It is funded. It is on the board of transportation’s agenda, and so it’s moving forward,” NCDOT’s Patty Eason said.
The plan is to widen I-40 in both directions from U.S. 15/501 at the Orange County-Durham County line to I-85 in Hillsborough. Right now, coming from the Raleigh area, lanes go from three lanes to two lanes.
“Frequently, daily, we have congestion, we have back-ups and we have been talking about this project for quite some time, for several years, and so the fact that it’s finally happening is awesome,” Eason said.
She estimates about 90,000 vehicles travel this stretch of Interstate daily. The goal of the I-40 widening project is to improve safety and keep vehicles moving.
“We may see some construction next year. We hope so. But, until we have a contractor on-board and get the schedule, we’ll really know how soon construction will start,” NCDOT’s Patty Eason said.
The department of transportation will advertise the project in February 2021. The contractor hired to get the job done will have months to design and plan.
“Some of this may be straight forward, just adding a lane in each direction, but that’s the idea with the design-build, we’re hoping we can get some innovation out there, something that we may haven’t seen or thought about,” Eason said.
The I-40 widening project also includes improving the N.C. 86 interchange.
Construction could begin as early as October 2021.
We’ll keep you posted as the plan continues to move forward.
To learn more about the project, click here.
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