North Carolina DOT, FHWA Administrator Examine Progress of Major Interchange Project

AASHTO Journal, 8 March 2013

Officials from the North Carolina Department of Transportation were joined by Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez to update the public on the progress of the I-85 interchange project in Charlotte.

The $92 million interchange (including $50.6 million of federal funding), which aims at cutting traffic congestion on I-77 and many local streets, has already made substantial progress, including the completion of a turbine design interchange of I-485 and I-85. The turbine design features lanes that “sweep left-turning traffic around a central bridge in a clockwise direction.” An animated video of what the turbine interchange is available here and has already been viewed more than 20,000 times.

“Improving this critical transportation corridor will attract businesses and jobs, and improve quality of life for area residents,” Mendez said in a statement. “This is a good example of what President Obama meant when he called on us to improve infrastructure to stimulate business development.”

The I-485/I-85 turbine interchange is the first in the state and one of very few across the country.

“The completion of our ‘Big Three’ projects – the final segment of I-485, the turbine interchange at I-85, and the widening of I-85 in Concord – will provide major benefits for local and regional travel,” said Jen Thompson, NCDOT communications officer. “We are proud to be part of several design firsts for our state, while being able to save millions and improve safety for North Carolinians.”

NCDOT expects the project will be open to traffic in 2014. Additional information on the entire I-485 Charlotte Outer Loop project (which includes the turbine interchange) is available here. ​​​

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