Public Meeting This Week On One Of North Carolina’s Worst Interchanges
For commuters who use the I-85/I-485 junction in west Charlotte, the frustration is real. But changes are coming. There is a public meeting this week on one of North Carolina’s worst interchanges, and the state’s plans to fix it.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation will host a public, drop-in style meeting Thursday for people to learn more about efforts to improve safety and traffic flow at the often-clogged interchange.
Officials say around 150,000 vehicles use I-85 in west Charlotte each day. Ramps from both directions of I-485 also come together from three lanes to one before merging to I-85 South. It’s a recipe for backups.
“It’s all hours of the day,” said Chandler Greene, who uses the I-485/I-85 interchange almost every day. “It can be late at night and it’s still stopped getting onto 85 South.”
Greene thinks the area could be improved in the meantime by re-drawing the lane markers into a more merge-friendly design. But officials plan quite a bit more work than that. The $45 million project is expected to widen the existing bridge from I-485 to I-85 south, along with adding more roadway along I-85 south. The Sam Wilson Road interchange will also get improvements, including a new bridge and ramp relocation.
The public meeting will be 4-7 p.m. Thursday, February * at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, 7327 Tuckaseegee Road in Charlotte. NCDOT staff will be on hand to discuss the project but there will not be a formal presentation.
Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in 2025. For more information on the project, visit the NCDOT’s project website.