Significant traffic congestion expected
RALEIGH - This
weekend, motorists will begin traveling on the newly constructed outside lanes
of I-85 South from just south of Belmont Road to just south of Clark Road in
Davidson County. The traffic shift will start on Friday, March 8, at 8 p.m. and
end on Saturday, March 9, by 6 a.m. Lane closures are possible until 11 a.m.
Moving traffic onto the new outside lanes of I-85 is a
necessary step for phase two of the I-85 Corridor Improvement Project. The
shift will allow crews to begin construction on the new inside lanes of I-85.
By late summer, the contractor is scheduled to open the interstate to four
lanes in each direction from just north of N.C. 150 to just north of I-85
To shift traffic safely and efficiently, crews must close
I-85 South between Belmont Road (Exit 86) and N.C. 150 (Exit 84). At 10 p.m.,
all southbound traffic will exit I-85 at Belmont Road (Exit 86) and take
following detour route:
top of the exit ramp, turn left onto Belmont Road and continue for
approximately 0.25 miles;
stop sign, turn left onto Old Salisbury Road and continue for about two miles;
stop sign, turn left onto N.C. 150 and continue for approximately 0.25 miles;
onto the I-85 South loop to re-enter I-85 on the new outside lanes.
Law enforcement will be present at each intersection to keep
the traffic pattern flowing along the detour. The N.C. Department of Transportation advises
drivers to prepare for significant traffic congestion in the area after the
detour goes into effect. NCDOT urges motorists to avoid the area, if possible,
or allow plenty of extra time to reach their destinations safely. Traffic flow
can be monitored via live cameras on the project website at www.i-85yadkinriver2.com/camera.html.
This traffic shift is part of the I-85 Corridor Improvement
Project, the state's top mobility project. NCDOT broke ground in September 2010
on phase one of the
project, which involves replacing eight bridges, widening 3.3 miles of I-85
from just north of Long Ferry Road (Exit 81) to just north of N.C. 150 and
reconstructing the N.C. 150 interchange. Phase two extends the interstate
widening by an additional 3.8 miles from just north of N.C. 150 to just north
of I-85 Business. Work on both phases is concurrent and currently scheduled to
be complete in late summer.
For more information on both phases of the $201.5 million
project, visit www.i-85yadkinriver.com.
To receive instant updates on traffic pattern changes, construction-related
congestion and project milestones, follow NCDOT's I-85 Twitter feed, https://twitter.com/NCDOT_I85.