Those who regularly battle traffic on the southern stretch of I-485 have some good news. The interstate will grow to three lanes in each direction by the end of 2015. That’s a full year ahead of schedule.
The southern section of I-485 from I-77 to Rea Road can be a headache at rush hour. Tim Timmerman knows it well since he lives nearby.
“It’s bumper to bumper and your fair share of bumper jumpers and little accidents and everything,” says Timmerman.
That portion of I-485 was built in the early 1990s, when two lanes in both directions could easily handle the traffic. It was before Ballantyne and so many housing developments sprung up around there.
“Let’s get that road widened as fast we can do it because we need it down here in south Mecklenburg and points south and east,” says Timmerman.
He and many other south Mecklenburg residents are getting their wish. The state is adding a lane in each direction and building a big shoulder to possibly add a toll lane in the future. Construction will begin this spring and is expected to be complete by the end of 2015. The cost of the project is coming in about $24 million cheaper than transportation officials had expected.
As for the final northern section of I-485, construction is on schedule and the loop is expected to be complete by the end of 2014. That stretch will have four lanes in each direction.