Construction has started 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 N.C. Department of Transportation.
The agency awarded a $346 million contract last fall to Blythe Construction of Charlotte to add an express lane and deliver additional corridor improvements along Interstate 485 between I-77 and U.S. 74 (Independence Boulevard).
Crews started installing barrier wall on Aug. 18 on both sides of the median just east of Westinghouse Boulevard, and between Johnston Road. and Tilley Morris Road. The installation will take about two weeks to complete.
Once the barrier wall is in place, crews can safely install storm drains, and perform paving and grading work.
The project will also include the following improvements:
- adding one general purpose lane in each direction of I-485 between Rea Rd. and Providence Rd.;
- widening the bridge carrying Ballantyne Commons Parkway over I-485 in Charlotte;
- improving the interchange at John St. in Matthews; and building an interchange at Weddington Road in Matthews.
The state 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.
The project is expected to open to traffic in late 2022.