Wake County’s population continues to grow exponentially, averaging 63 new people a day. With this growth comes the need for improvements to our regional transportation system. In an effort to make travel safer and more efficient, the I-40/440 Fortify project came into effect to rebuild one of the most traveled freeways in the Raleigh area.
NCDOT reopened all lanes on the I-440 section of the project in southeast Raleigh (between I-40 and I-495), and is now focused on the I-40 section of the project in south Raleigh (between the two I-440 interchanges – exits 293 and 301), which will experience extended lane closures through late 2016.
One of the positive elements of the Fortify project is a $12 million investment by the NC Department of Transportation to provide new transit options in an effort to get 30,000 vehicles off the road and away from the construction areas during peak times. To be a city of the future, Raleigh must provide travel alternatives other than relying on a car. NCDOT and GoTriangle have realized this and are working hard to make travelers aware of these new and updated travel options.
Local companies are also aware of the importance of alternative travel options with many offering employees GoPasses – an employer investment that allows workers to travel on area buses for free.
"The regional business community recognizes that maintaining the integrity of our freeway system is essential for regional mobility and commerce, and we are fully supportive of the Fortify project," said Joe Milazzo II, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance business coalition. "We applaud NCDOT, GoTriangle and other partners for creating travel options that will provide relief now during construction and point the way to our enhanced transit future as our market continues to grow."
An efficient transportation system and transit network is pertinent to economic growth. With transportation agencies and organizations like Regional Transportation Alliance business coalition working together to advance transit and improve freeways, Wake County and the Triangle are heading in the right direction to ensure we are prepared for continued population and economic growth.