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Project History

  • 1998: CATS express bus service in median of Independence Boulevard begins after widening/upgrading is completed to Wendover Avenue
  • 2006: CATS express bus service in median of Independence Boulevard is extended after widening/upgrading is completed to Albemarle Road (NC 27)
  • 2007: FAST Lanes study begins; is joint effort by City of Charlotte, North Carolina Department of Transportation, South Carolina Department of Transportation, and other local agencies in the surrounding ten-county area; purpose of study is to examine existing and planned major highways in the region to identify where express lanes could help manage congestion during peak travel periods
  • 2008: Phase I Fast Lanes study is completed; report recommended five corridors for detailed express lane studies, including U.S. 74 from I-277 to I-485
  • 2009: Phase II Fast Lanes study is completed; detailed studies reveal great demand for express lanes in the U.S. 74 East corridor; report recommends that Phase II findings be considered in updates to the Long Range Transportation Plan
  • 2011: Urban Land Institute completes study of U.S. 74 corridor; recommends that either bus rapid transit or express bus service operate in shared express lanes along Independence Boulevard rather than having both a dedicated transit right of way and express lanes
  • 2011: Independence Boulevard Area Plan adopted by Charlotte City Council; establishes a vision for the Independence Boulevard area and provided guidance policies to guide future growth, development, and reinvestment
  • 2011: Based upon results of ULI study, Metropolitan Transit Commission decides that the median of U.S. 74 does not need to be preserved exclusively for rapid transit
  • 2012: Design plans for STIP No. U-209 B are revised by NCDOT at City of Charlotte’s request in order to accommodate express bus lanes rather than future rapid transit in the median of Independence Boulevard
  • 2013: Phase III of Fast Lanes study is completed; studies include public outreach and provide a better understanding of policy and technical issues associated with express lanes
  • 2013: STIP No. U-5526 is programmed for planning and environmental studies only
  • 2013: Construction begins on project to widen and upgrade Independence Boulevard from Albemarle Road to Wallace Lane, including bus lanes (STIP No. U-209 B)
  • 2013: NCDOT prepares Feasibility Study for STIP No. U-2509
  • 2014: Traffic and Revenue study for express lanes on U.S. 74 from I-277 to I-485 completed by NCDOT in consultation with City of Charlotte, Town of Matthews, and other local agencies; suggested as “starter project” one reversible express lane from I-277 to Albemarle Road and two express lanes (one in each direction) from Albemarle Road to Wallace Lane; included analysis of possible access points, potential operational issues, express lane policy, costs and revenues
  • 2014: Preliminary design and environmental studies began for STIP No. U-5526
  • 2014: STIP No. U-5526 programmed for right of way acquisition and construction
  • 2015: In March 2015, NCDOT held two initial public meetings for this project and for the neighboring project on Independence Boulevard to the northwest in Charlotte (from I-277 to Wallace Lane).
  • 2015: Regulatory Agencies made the decision to review STIP No. U-2509 through the NEPA/404 Merger Process
  • 2016: Express Lane Access Points determined in close consultation with local government representatives. 
  • 2016-2019: Coordination with the Town of Matthews, City of Charlotte, and Mecklenburg County to determine the bicycle and pedestrian accommodations that will be included in the U-2509 project.
  • 2016-2019: Preliminary designs prepared with extensive input from local government representatives.
  • 2018: Sardis Road North – City Design Option eliminated because it would not be able to accommodate the projected traffic.  The half-clover interchange option remains the only viable interchange design alternative.
  • 2020: Environmental Assessment signed January 6, 2020.​

1/23/2020 1:57 PM