RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Between 10,000 and 12,000 cars will head to Carter-Finley Stadium Wednesday when the Rolling Stones are in town for a concert expected to create heavy traffic in the Triangle.
Steve McLaurin, president of McLaurin Parking Company, said capacity is not a problem, and lots will open at 4 p.m.
But the issue is the heaviest traffic will come right around rush hour.
The goal is to keep the traffic moving, and avoid long tie-ups like what happened when U2 played at Carter-Finley in 2009.
“That was a perfect storm of everybody using their phones to come in on the same path at the same time,” McLaurin said. “It was also a time when UNC and Duke were releasing at the ends of their football games.”
About 40,000 people are expected, which is lower than an N.C. State football game. But football games are generally on Saturdays, meaning the Wolfpack fans don’t collide with commuter traffic.
“We’re talking about the same time that we always have the core afternoon commute, that heavy traffic volume in that area plus 40,000 concert goers, many of which won’t be familiar with the area at all,” said Mike Charbonneau with the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
More than 60 troopers will direct traffic at 30 posts around the stadium, and the DOT will monitor congestion.
“We’ll be trying to point people to the least congested routes, avoid the Fortify workzone and if the traffic conditions change, we can quickly change the message boards to point them in a different direction,” Carbonneau said.
“If everybody will just pay attention to the direction of the DOT signs and the Highway Patrol,” McLaurin said, “I think we’ll be in good shape.”
Traffic suggestions for Wednesday
Drivers traveling through the Fortify work zone on Interstate 40 West, at mile marker 294, will be notified to take Exit 293-B to I-440 East to Exit 3 (Hillsborough Street) to Blue Ridge Road. In case of congestion on that route, drivers would take Exit 290 (N.C. 54 East) to Edwards Mill Road to Trinity Road.
Other routes that the Highway Patrol suggests:
• Drivers headed on I-440 West can take Exit 4-B (Wade Avenue) to Blue Ridge Road to Westchase Boulevard.
• From I-495 South, drivers can take Exit 419 (I-440 West) to Wade Avenue to Blue Ridge Road to Westchase Boulevard.
• From U.S. 1 North, drivers can take I-440 East to Exit 3 (Hillsborough Street) to Blue Ridge Road to Trinity Road.