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Construction On I-485 Toll Lanes To Start This Summer


State transportation officials hope express toll lanes will help ease congestion on a section of Interstate 485 in southern Mecklenburg County.



The state Department of Transportation and the Turnpike Authority held an open house Thursday night at Endhaven Elementary in Charlotte to get input from residents ahead of the project’s start date later this summer. 


The plan is to add express lanes in medians in both directions of I-485 between Interstate 77 and U.S. 74. The state would also add another general purpose lane in each direction between Rea and Providence roads. There are no plans to implement a toll on any of the existing lanes. 


Tolls for the new express lanes will be managed by the Turnpike Authority’s NC Quick Pass program. That’s the same system in use on I-77, where toll lanes from Charlotte to the Lake Norman area opened earlier this year


One resident who attended Thursday’s open house, John Bilardello, told WCNC that he hoped the project alleviated traffic caused by a “bottleneck” on the highway, but he was concerned about the potential for noise pollution. 


“There is no noise wall that goes along Piper Glen from Rea Road to the Ballantyne Commons Bridge, and we absolutely need it,” Bilardello told the station.  


According to the state, anywhere from 80,000 to 146,000 vehicles use that section of I-485 on a daily basis. Three other projects — widening Ballantyne Commons Parkway in Charlotte, building an interchange at Weddington Road in Matthews and improving the John Street interchange in Matthews — will be built at the same time. 


The total project is expected to cost $289.5 million and be completed by 2020. This would be the third major toll-road project in the Charlotte area, including the work on I-77 and the Monroe Expressway.


People can learn more about the project and leave comments at https://publicinput.com/I-485-Charlotte.