The LaSalle Street on-ramp to I-77 northbound will be closed for up to a year beginning Wednesday night. It's part of a project to add optional toll lanes from Charlotte to Mooresville.
The ramp is pretty busy most days. But now, you'll have to take a detour.
Right now, it's a frighteningly short merge onto the interstate - just a couple of hundred feet. So contractors for NCDOT are expanding and extending the ramp. That will make it easier to get onto both I-77 and nearby I-85 north, said Jean Leier, a spokeswoman for contractor I-77 Mobility Partners.
"When the ramp reopens, if you are going to 85 northbound, there will be no need for you to merge, because that lane will continue all the way to 85 northbound now. And if you are coming off that ramp and going to 77 northbound, you will have a much longer merge time, making that merge safer," Leier said.
The ramp closing is one of many disruptions on I-77 near uptown during the toll lane project. HOV lanes now are closed in both directions. Other lanes will close at times, as contractors rebuild the LaSalle Street and Oaklawn Avenue bridges, and add connecting ramps from the toll lanes to I-277. Workers also recently removed an old and unused pedestrian bridge just north of LaSalle Street.
The $655 million project will add two toll lanes in both directions from Charlotte north to Exit 28 in Cornelius, and one toll lane from there to Exit 36 in Mooresville. When work begins south of Huntersville within the next month, you'll see construction along all 26 miles of the project.
Weather-permitting, the LaSalle ramp will close at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
The toll lanes are scheduled to open by the end of 2018.
Find I-77 traffic updates and sign up for e-mail alerts on the I77Express.com website