Project Overview and Purpose
The purpose of the proposed project is to enhance mobility and improve traffic flow and safety in the Independence Boulevard corridor in east Charlotte.
U.S. 74 is a primary east-west route in the region and has been identified by NCDOT as a Strategic Highway Corridor, a crucial piece in an ongoing effort to enhance transportation, economic development, and environmental stewardship in North Carolina.
Current traffic volumes exceed 70,000 vehicles per day in the vicinity of Idlewild Road; by 2030, volumes are expected to range from 77, 200 to 91,000 vehicles per day.
- Currently, no recent news releases.
The project consists of converting this existing segment of Independence Boulevard to an expressway, extending improvements to that roadway eastward from Albemarle Road to Wallace Lane. With the addition of the interchanges, we will be removing the traffic signals from Independence Boulevard at these intersections. When the project is complete, there will be no signals on Independence between Harris Blvd and uptown.
The existing six-lane divided roadway will be widened to include four general purpose lanes and one bus lane in each direction. The proposed bus lane will be constructed in the median and will be separated from the general purpose lanes by two-foot buffers. A single barrier wall will be constructed in the center of the median to separate the opposing bus lanes.
Proposed Interchanges: A partial cloverleaf interchange will be built at Sharon Amity Road, with a bridge carrying Sharon Amity Road over Independence Boulevard. During construction, Sharon Amity Road will be shifted to the east from Kipling Drive to north of Buena Vista Avenue. This will allow direct access to be maintained between Independence Boulevard and Sharon Amity Road.
Another partial cloverleaf interchange will be built at Idlewild Road, with a bridge carrying Idlewild Road over Independence Boulevard. This bridge will be built where Idlewild Road and Independence Boulevard currently meet. While the bridge is being built, traffic will be temporarily detoured. Motorists will not be able to take Idlewild Road from one side of Independence Boulevard to the other, nor will direct access be provided between Idlewild Road and Independence Boulevard. NCDOT will notify the public of suggested detour routes in this vicinity.
Conference Drive will be extended to the northwest across Independence Boulevard to intersect with Idlewild Road, requiring a bridge over Independence Boulevard approximately three tenths of a mile east of the Idlewild Road crossing. This extension of Conference Drive will improve traffic flow and mobility.
To enhance safety, the existing “left-over” on Independence Boulevard East at Wallace Lane will be removed.
CATS buses traveling east on Independence Boulevard in the bus lane will exit that lane and merge with traffic in the general purpose lanes just east of Wallace Lane.
Bicyclist and Pedestrian Accommodations: The project proposes six-foot sidewalks with six-foot utility strips between the curb and sidewalk on both sides of Independence Boulevard, Sharon Amity Road, Idlewild Road and Conference Drive. Also, five -foot bicycle lanes are proposed on both sides of Sharon Amity Road, Idlewild Road, and Conference Drive in the project limits.
Nat Hunter, PE
Senior Resident Engineer
- Email: Contact Us
- Phone: 704-845-1151
- Address: 12033 East Independence Boulevard, Matthews, NC 28105
Louis Mitchell, PE
- Email: Contact Us
- Phone: 704-983-4400
- Address: 716 West Main Street, Albemarle, NC 28001
Resources for Local Property Owners
In many cases, it is inevitable that a certain amount of private property must be acquired. The displacement of homes and businesses is minimized to the extent practicable. The following brochures will answer questions about this process.