S.T. Wooten says it is spearheading the $330 million widening and redesign project to improve traffic on I-40. In conjunction with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), the project will cover 12.8 miles of the highway extending from the I-440 beltline in Raleigh to N.C. 42 in Johnston County. The project began in the fall of 2018 and will be completed in 2022.
The contractor is adding lanes throughout the project – expanding four-lane sections to eight lanes, and six-lane sections to 10 lanes. As for the existing lanes, crews will add on to them with 9.5 inches of asphalt overlay. Crews will also make changes to improve the interchange at N.C. 42, converting it to an innovative Diverging Diamond Interchange. This unique design, in which two directions of traffic cross briefly to the left side of the road, will help increase traffic flow and allow free-flowing turns onto the interstate.
In addition to building the Diverging Diamond Interchange along with several other interchanges, the project includes construction of 15 bridges. One of these will be a new flyover bridge from I-440 to I-40 east bound and the installation of two new bridges for the Diverging Diamond Interchange at NC 42.
A company spokesperson says, with up to 10,000 cars passing through the I-40 project zone each day, it is getting creative to keep traffic flowing smoothly during construction.
“The team will construct a unique temporary access ramp that will run from a closed highway bridge down into the median, which will ultimately save 34,500 loads from being hauled in traffic,” a news release submitted by the contractor says. “An additional 7,600 loads will be saved thanks to a conveyor that will run from the asphalt plant straight to the construction zone.
The statement continues: “By the time it is completed, the I-40 design-build job will touch every division at S.T. Wooten. That includes more than 250 construction crew members working alongside those of the 20 plus subcontractors working on the project. Construction crew managers will be meeting frequently and communicating constantly with the NCDOT to ensure each milestone is met and the job gets done right.”