The Independence Boulevard widening project enters a new phase this week, with road closures planned for the first time since work started last summer.
Crews will close the inbound lanes of Independence Boulevard near Conference Drive at night this week, beginning Monday.
The work probably will extend into next week, and its merely the first of several road closures planned for Independence before the $51 million project is finished in autumn 2016.
Crews will hang girders for the future Conference Drive overpass, a short distance east of Idlewild Road. In addition to closing the westbound lanes from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., eastbound (outbound) traffic will be reduced to one lane.
Inbound traffic at night will be detoured onto East W.T. Harris Boulevard and Idlewild Road.
Monroe Road also is an alternate route.
With girders being put in place, it wouldnt be safe to allow traffic to come through, said Jen Thompson, spokeswoman for the N.C. Department of Transportation.
We wanted to make sure that the work would be completed each morning before rush hour, and Ive been told that will be no problem, she added.
Girders were delivered to the site Friday, and work is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. Monday.
Eventually, two more overpasses will be built, for Idlewild Road and Sharon Amity Road.
You can already see the walls coming together where the Sharon Amity Road bridge will be, Thompson said.
The good news, she said, is the project is ahead of schedule. By the end of October, crews were supposed to have 9.8 percent of the project completed. Instead, they had finished almost 20 percent of the work.
Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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