CHARLOTTE – Construction began on the I-485 corridor improvements project as part of a network of express lanes that will offer drivers the option of more reliable travel times, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

The NCDOT awarded a $346 million contract last fall to Blythe Construction, Inc. of Charlotte to add an express lane and deliver additional corridor improvements along Interstate 485 between I-77 and U.S. 74 (Independence Boulevard).

Contract crews started installing barrier wall Sunday night, Aug.18, on both sides of the median just east of Westinghouse Boulevard, and between Johnston Road and Tilley Morris Road in Charlotte.

The installation will take about two weeks to complete. This portion of the project will take place at night, from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Once the barrier wall is in place, crews can safely install storm drains, and perform paving and grading work, NCDOT officials say. 

The project will also include these improvements:

  • Adding one general purpose lane in each direction of I-485 between Rea Road and Providence Road
  • Widening the bridge carrying Ballantyne Commons Parkway over I-485 in Charlotte
  • Improving the interchange at John Street in Matthews
  • Building an interchange at Weddington Road in Matthews

The State of North Carolina will own the I-485 express lanes. The N.C. Turnpike Authority and the N.C. Department of Transportation are leading the planning, construction and maintenance of the lanes.

All tolling, account management and toll collection customer service will be administered by the Turnpike Authority.  

The project is expected to open to traffic in late 2022.

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