NCDOT isn’t just fixing to fix 440, they are fixing 440
- August 26, 2021
- Posted by: Joe Milazzo II
- Category: Blog
There are several major projects that are in various degrees of suspension or delay. Fortunately, the needed modernization of 440 is not one of those. This region isn’t fixing to do it — NCDOT is making it happen right now.
The oldest section of 440, between Wade Avenue and Cary, has been around since the 1960s. The market has grown — and traffic has grown — and it is getting a long-overdue expansion and modernization as we speak.
The freeway will be widened from four to six lanes (i.e., to three lanes each way), with safety and operational improvements to various interchanges.
- The Wake Avenue/I-440 interchange will have a new flyover from west Raleigh (EB Wade) to north Raleigh (EB I-440). RTA Gold member HDR developed an innovative design that will dramatically improve operations and safety while minimizing the footprint.
- The Western Boulevard interchange will become a “diverging diamond” crossover style interchange to reduce delays for travelers, including future bus rapid transit.
- The project also includes improvements to Blue Ridge Road in the vicinity of the state fairgrounds. NCDOT is building new bridges for Hillsborough Street, Beryl Road, and the North Carolina Railroad Company corridor over Blue Ridge — this will reduce congestion and improve safety — for vehicular and railroad traffic today, and for the future commuter rail along the NCRR corridor.
As with any major infrastructure project, there will be a few years of growing pains. Temporary ramps and detours, such as those described in this week’s NCDOT news release and outlined here and here, are simply unavoidable for a project of this magnitude.
The regional business community will offer our best wishes for excellent cooperation, favorable weather, improved supply chains, abundant talent — and a little bit of luck overall — to bring these needed multimodal improvements to reality as soon as possible.
The Raleigh 440 Beltline already provides a remarkable level of convenience and connectivity for the capital city. This project will do wonders for improving that convenience and safety.
Thank you to NCDOT and its contractors and partners for fixing 440 for our growing region.
Let’s get moving,
Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA executive director
RTA is the voice of the regional business community on transportation in the Research Triangle area.
RTA represents more than 100 leading businesses and 25 member chambers of commerce in central and eastern North Carolina.