pattern shift needed to allow crews to realign and widen I-85 South
RALEIGH — On
Thursday night, motorists traveling on I-85 South just north of the N.C. 150
interchange in Davidson County will encounter lane closures as crews shift
traffic off the old lanes of the interstate and onto the newly constructed
lanes of I-85 North. This represents a major milestone for the southern segment of
the I-85 Corridor Improvement Project.
The lane closures will begin on Thursday at 8 p.m. By Friday at 6
a.m., the traffic pattern shift is set to be complete, weather permitting. At
that time, the four new lanes of I-85 North will carry two lanes of northbound
traffic and two lanes of southbound traffic from Exit 81 (Long Ferry Road) in
Rowan County to Clark Road in Davidson County.
The move is necessary to allow crews to safely realign and widen
I-85 South from two lanes to four lanes. Expanding the interstate will improve
safety, reduce congestion and allow traffic to flow more efficiently along this
heavily traveled corridor. More than 60,000 vehicles – many of them tractor
trailers – drive along this section of I-85 daily. Widening the interstate will
benefit the economy by making it easier for employees to get to work and
companies to transport goods to market.
Traffic is set to remain in this pattern on I-85 North until crews
finish building the new I-85 South lanes in April 2013.
This change is one of a series of changes needed to make progress
on the interstate widening portion of the project.
- In May, the N.C. Department of Transportation moved
I-85 North traffic onto the new lanes of I-85 North when it opened the new
I-85 North bridge over the Yadkin River.
- In August, NCDOT shifted I-85
South traffic from Exit 81 (Long Ferry Road) to just south of the N.C. 150
interchange onto the new I-85 North lanes when it permanently closed the
old Yadkin River bridge and moved southbound traffic onto the new I-85
- This week’s traffic shift will
officially move all southbound traffic off the old lanes and onto the new
northbound lanes of I-85.
NCDOT broke ground in September 2010 on the southern segment
of the I-85 Corridor Improvement
Project, which involves replacing eight bridges, reconstructing the N.C.
150 interchange and widening 3.3 miles of I-85. The northern segment extends the reach
of the interstate widening 3.8 miles from north of N.C. 150 to just north of
I-85 Business. Work on both phases is concurrent and is scheduled to be
complete by May 2013.
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.