The state will delay widening Independence Boulevard from Albemarle Road to Conference Drive by six months to plan for possibly adding toll lanes in the future.
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Other high-profile highway projects under way in Charlotte:
- The final section of Interstate 485 in northeast Charlotte should be finished in the fall of 2014. When finished, motorists will be able to drive all the way around the city without stopping – a project that’s been more than 25 years in the making.
- The DOT is currently widening I-85 in Cabarrus County to eight lanes total. That project, which will end at N.C. 73, will be finished in the fall of 2013.
- The state is planning to widen the first section of the outerbelt in south Charlotte. Starting in August, the DOT plans to add two lanes each way from Interstate 77 to Johnston Road and then an additional lane to Rea Road. That section of the outerbelt is the state’s most congested highway, with 120,000 cars a day on only two lanes of traffic one way.
- The N.C. Turnpike Authority had planned to begin construction later this year on the 20-mile Monroe Connector/Bypass, the region’s first toll road. But a federal appellate court in May ruled that the state didn’t do required environmental impact studies correctly, putting the project in limbo. The state has asked the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to review the case, but it could have to rework its environmental impact studies, which could take months or years. Steve Harrison
By: Steve Harrison, Charlotte Observer