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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. The joint effort by Charlotte, NCDOT, the South Carolina Department of Transportation, and other local agencies in the surrounding 10-county area examines 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. The 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. The report recommends Phase II findings be considered in updates to the Long Range Transportation Plan.
  • 2011: An Urban Land Institute 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: The Independence Boulevard Area Plan is adopted by the Charlotte City Council. It establishes a vision for the Independence Boulevard area and provided guidance policies to guide future growth, development and reinvestment.
  • 2011: Based upon results of the ULI study, the 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 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 the 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 a project to widen and upgrade Independence Boulevard from Albemarle Road to Wallace Lane, including bus lanes (STIP No. U-209 B).
  • 2013: NCDOT prepares a Feasibility Study for STIP No. U-2509.
  • 2014: A Traffic and Revenue study for express lanes on U.S. 74 from I-277 to I-485 is completed by NCDOT in consultation with Charlotte, Matthews and other local agencies. A suggested “starter project” is one reversible express lane from I-277 to Albemarle Road and two express lanes (one in each direction) from Albemarle Road to Wallace Lane. The study includes analysis of possible access points, potential operational issues, express lane policy, costs and revenues
  • 2014: Preliminary design and environmental studies are begun for STIP No. U-5526.
  • 2014: STIP No. U-5526 is 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 are determined in close consultation with local government representatives. 
  • 2016-2019: Coordination with the Matthews, Charlotte and Mecklenburg County to determine the bicycle and pedestrian accommodations that will be included in the U-2509 project.
  • 2016-2019: Preliminary designs are prepared with extensive input from local government representatives.
  • 2018: Sardis Road North – City Design Option is 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.​

11/4/2020 4:43 PM