I-485

Sun. Headlines: Harnett To Lead NC GOP

Jun 7, 2015

North Carolina Republicans have elected their first black state party chair. Hasan Harnett of Harrisburg, in Cabarrus County, won Saturday’s vote in an upset victory over Craig Collins of Gastonia, the candidate backed by Gov. Pat McCrory and other GOP establishment leaders.

Harnett was a campaign manager for a 2014 congressional candidate and has served as minority outreach director for the state Republican Party.  He said later he was "humbled."

Courtesy of Matthew Bryant

Eminent domain is one of the most powerful tools of government. It allows state and local governments to force the sale of private land for anything deemed of public use or benefit. In return, however, the state is required to pay just compensation.

North Carolina is one of 13 states that allow its Department of Transportation to effectively control private property that may be turned into a road. This means that just compensation may take years, or in some cases, decades. Part 2 of our series, The State's Domain, examines what's known as the Map Act.

After more than 20 years of construction, I-485 is expected to be completed within three months. The final link is a five-mile section in northern Mecklenberg County. 

Nat Hunter, the resident engineer overseeing the project says that it will be completed between late May and mid-June. The section will be an eight-lane highway that connects I-77 to I-85. 

According to Hunter, the road's completion date depends on the weather. The cold temperatures and precipitation have made it difficult to grade and pave the road. 

Duncan McFadyen

Area leaders are one step closer to deciding whether to open an extra lane on I-485 in south Charlotte. There’s an extra lane of pavement on both sides of the newly-widened section of I-485 between I-77 and Rea Road. The state Department of Transportation opened the highway in December, nearly two years ahead of schedule. The plan had been to keep those lanes closed until the next section of widening is complete, at least four years from now. But many people have complained that it’s silly not to use the extra lane until then.

Mark Hames / Charlotte Observer

Interstate 485 in south Charlotte is now one lane wider in both directions. But there’s enough new pavement on the highway to open an additional lane on both sides. The North Carolina Department of Transportation says it’s up to a local board to decide whether to open those lanes sooner than was originally planned.  


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.