The North Carolina Department of Transportation will hold public meetings this week on several projects to improve travel times on roads in south Charlotte – including toll lanes on I-485.
NCDOT’s $290 million plan for I-485 calls for adding one toll lane in the median in both directions between I-77 and U.S. 74 near Matthews. A free lane also would be added between Rea Road and Providence Road.
Other road improvements are planned at the same time – widening Ballantyne Commons Parkway, building a new interchange at Weddington Road in Matthews, and improving the John Street interchange in Matthews.
Construction on the new I-485 lanes is expected to begin in 2019.
Two pre-construction public meetings are planned this week - Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Central Piedmont Community College campus in Matthews and Thursday from 4 to 7 at Pineville United Methodist Church. The drop-in meetings will give citizens a chance to learn more about the projects and offer feedback.
The DOT also is accepting questions and comments online at https://publicinput.com/I-485-Charlotte
The I-485 Express Lanes, as they're being called, are part of a network of toll lanes around the Charlotte area that NCDOT is using to help fund road improvements. I-77 Express Lanes north of Charlotte expected to open by the end of 2018 are being financed, built and operated by a private company. NCDOT is managing the remainder of the projects, including a $400 million project to add toll lanes on U.S. 74/Independence Boulevard, and planned toll lanes on I-77 south of Charlotte.
Meanwhile, NCDOT contractors are near the completion of the Monroe Expressway, a toll road that will take traffic off U.S. 74 through Monroe.
All the tolls will be collected through the N.C. Turnpike Authority, which already operates the Triangle Expressway, a toll road in the Raleigh area.
NCDOT.gov project page for the I-485 express lanes and concurrent projects.