I-3306A: I-40 Widening - Orange County
I-3306A: I-40 Widening - Orange County
From I-85 in Orange County to the Durham County Line, the N.C. Department of Transportation is proposing to widen 11.4-miles of I-40 from four lanes to six lanes and modify interchanges, including the I-40 / N.C. 86 interchange. The project will also include temporary pavement markings and overhead lane use sign modifications on I‑40 westbound to remove the existing left lane drop near U.S. 15-501 in Durham County (Project W-5707C). The proposed widening will add one lane in each direction, improve traffic flow along the corridor and help relieve heavy congestion that develops during commuter times.
As of July 15th, the Contractor has reinstalled pavement marking lines throughout the entire length of the project to ensure proper delineation for drivers.
The contractor is currently working on the following items:
- Grading in the median throughout the entire length of the project
- Installing a Storm Drainage Pipe under the I-40 using tunneling methods
- Installing Storm Drainage Boxes and Pipe inside the median
- Continuously working on the new I-40 Bridge over Old NC-86
- Installing Soil Nail Wall
- Pile Installation and Excavation
- Recycling concrete (Crusher is placed at NC-86 and I-40) and the Concrete Batch Plant will be installed in the upcoming weeks at the same location.
TRAVELING PUBLIC SHOULD BE AWARE OF CONSTRUCTION TRAFFIC ENTERING AND EXITING ALONG THE CORRIDOR.
CHAPEL HILL – More cameras, speed sensors and other equipment designed to improve the safety of the work zone have been installed along a 11-mile stretch in Orange County where a state transportation contractor is widening Interstate 40.
The N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is deploying the equipment to better gauge traffic conditions in real-time and inform drivers more quickly via changeable message boards of alternate routes due to a crash or other incident within the work zone. In that event, the changeable message boards will alert drivers to use I-85 and I-885 as the primary alternate route to go around the closure before traffic arrives to the work zone. As a backup for traffic that arrives to the work zone, NCDOT has installed changeable message boards and directional signs to direct traffic around the incident via preplanned secondary alternate routes.
The Department's Triad Regional Traffic Management Center will monitor the cameras and speed sensors and update the changeable message boards as needed within the work zone and within 20 miles of the project.
In addition to using traffic safety equipment, the department will deploy Incident Management Assistance Patrol (IMAP) and towing resources in the vicinity of the Interstate to quickly respond and remove wrecked, abandoned or disabled vehicles. These initiatives will ultimately reduce congestion and delays in the work zone. During construction, break down areas will be limited due to concrete barriers restricting access to the paved shoulder. The work zone will have designated emergency pull-off areas.
Several interstate widening projects around the state are using a similar approach to managing incidents in work zones, including I-26 between Hendersonville and Asheville, I-40 in the Raleigh area, and several I-95 projects from I-74 in Lumberton to I-40 near Benson.
The purpose of the proposed project is to relieve peak hour congestion on I-40 such that a Level of Service (LOS) D or better can be maintained for the 2040 build condition. The project will also improve the traffic flow and continuity between the existing eight-lane section at the beginning of the project (I-85) and the six-lane section at the end of the project (Durham County Line). Daily commuters between points west of I-85 and U.S. 15-501 should also experience fewer delays.
*Level of Service
The relationship of travel demand compared to the roadway capacity determines the level of service (LOS) of a roadway.
In late 2020, the North Carolina Department of Transportation decided to use the Design-Build project delivery method for I-3306A. This project delivery method combines design and construction services, including right-of-way acquisition, into one contract. The selected Design-Build Team (Designer and Contractor) will be responsible for development of final plans for review and acceptance by NCDOT. Based on the current timeline, this project will be awarded on August 17, 2021 with an anticipated project completion date in 4th Quarter 2025; however, the actual completion date for this contract could be sooner, depending on what is proposed by the Design-Build Team who is awarded the project.
A new twelve-foot lane is proposed to be added to the outside of I-40 eastbound approaching the I-40/I-85 interchange. The additional lane will begin west of the Dimmocks Mill Road (SR 1134) bridge and provide a smoother transition onto I-40 eastbound.
The project will now include the replacement of both I-40 bridges over Old N.C. 86 (S.R. 1009) at Exit 261 rather than replacing the westbound bridge and widening the existing eastbound bridge.
The project will also widen the existing I-40 bridges over Millhouse Road (S.R. 1725) and Norfolk Southern Railway, rather than replacing the eastbound bridge and widening the westbound bridge as previously proposed.
At the I-40/N.C. 86 interchange, all ramp/loop work in Quadrant A (northeast) and B (northwest) and work along N.C. 86 north of the interchange will be included in the project. (See Map No. 4)
South of the interchange bridge, improvements will include a slip-ramp, with exclusive right turn lane, from the eastbound I-40 off-ramp to Eubanks Road and addition of a second lane on the eastbound I-40 on-ramp.
The remaining improvements proposed at Eubanks Road along N.C. 86 south of the I-40/N.C. 86 Interchange as shown on Map No. 4 will be constructed at a later date under State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) Project I-3306AC.
Traffic Noise Summary
During planning and design for highway projects, NCDOT must identify traffic noise impacts, examine potential noise abatement, incorporate feasible and reasonable noise abatement measures, and coordinate with local officials to provide helpful information on compatible land use planning and control. The procedures for doing this are stipulated by Federal Regulation (23 CFR 772) and the NCDOT Traffic Noise Policy.
NCDOT has performed preliminary noise analyses for this project and an initial Traffic Noise Report has been prepared. In this study, noise walls were evaluated at 16 locations along the I-3306A project. Of these, 4 preliminarily meet feasibility and reasonableness criteria. These 4 locations are shown in red hatching as potential noise abatement areas on the updated Public Meeting Maps referenced below. As part of the project’s final design activities, additional noise studies will be conducted to identify recommended noise wall locations.
Once recommended noise wall locations are identified during final design, all property owners and tenants who are benefitted by a wall will be asked to vote on the wall. At that time, NCDOT will contact property owners and tenants who are eligible to vote and explain the balloting process and what they are being asked to vote on. Only recommended noise walls that pass this voting process will be constructed.
An important concept in Federal regulation and in the NCDOT Traffic Noise Policy is the Date of Public Knowledge, which stipulates when NCDOT is and is not responsible for providing noise abatement. The Date of Public Knowledge of the location and potential noise impacts for this project will be the approval date of the Categorical Exclusion (CE). The CE was approved on March 29, 2019. NCDOT is not responsible for evaluating or implementing any noise walls to protect developed lands that did not have building permits issued before the Date of Public Knowledge. NCDOT advocates use of local government authority to regulate land development, planning, design and construction in such a way that noise impacts are minimized.
Traffic Noise Report (TNR)
The Traffic Noise Report for I-3306A is available here
The Environmental Document for I-3306A is available here
The first public meeting was held in June 2014.
The second public meeting was held on Thursday, January 24, 2019.
Public Meeting Comment Summary
Public Meeting Maps (Updated to show Potential Noise Abatement Areas)
PROJECT CONTACT INFORMATION
Malcolm Watson, PE
NCDOT Design-Build Unit
1595 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1595
Project Phone: 984-205-6615 code: 3714
RESOURCES FOR PROPERTY OWNERS
Although the N.C. Department of Transportation works to minimize the number of homes and businesses displaced by a road project, it is inevitable, in many cases, that a certain amount of private property is needed. The following information explains right of way acquisition and answers questions about the process.
Right of way Acquisition Process Videos