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Expansions Coming Soon To Two Triangle Freeways

traffic on Interstate 40 in Durham
Elizabeth Baier
File photo of Interstate 40. The DOT says it will widen 11 miles of I-40 from Raleigh to Clayton.

Crews with the North Carolina Department of Transportation will add one lane in each direction to two sections of freeway in Raleigh.
Interstate 440 between Wade Avenue and Walnut Street often has more collisions than normal because drivers have to merge from three lanes to two.  

Crews will widen that road, and improve the interchanges, according to NC DOT Spokesman Steve Abbott.

“At a lot of locations along 440, the exit ramp and the on-ramps are very short,” Abbott said. “You don't get much time to merge. You have to cut over quick or something's going to go wrong. That also is going to change.”

Abbott says about 80,000 cars pass through that section every day. The DOT will also widen 11 miles of I-40 from Raleigh to Clayton. Both projects are expected to start next year.

Officials say the two intersections being widened are some of the only parts in the metro area that bottleneck into two lanes in each direction.  

Abbott said the small stretch of I-440 is often at a standstill during rush hour.

“It's higher crash rates just because it's squishes the traffic down to a smaller area,” he said. “So you have 80,000 vehicles a day all of the sudden squishing down into two lanes? We need to change that.”

Will Michaels is WUNC's Weekend Host and Reporter.
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