In 2007, the city of Charlotte partnered with the N.C. Department of Transportation, the S.C. Department of Transportation, Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization and other local and regional agencies to initiate the "Fast Lanes Study."
This study examined existing and planned major highways throughout a 10-county area and identified corridors that could benefit most from implementing express lanes to help manage congestion during peak travel periods
The initial findings targeted I-485 and U.S. 74 (Independence Boulevard) for additional study.
After further evaluation, the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization added the express lanes projects on I-485 and U.S. 74 to its 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan, which was adopted in April 2014.
This led the N.C. Turnpike Authority to initiate implementation of the I-485 and U.S. 74 express lanes network. The I-485 and U.S. 74 express lanes projects were included for funding in the State Transportation Improvement Program in 2015.