At our annual neighborhood meeting in January, we received numerous questions about the Weddington Road/485 interchange project plans and schedule. Here’s the info that we gathered from Stuart Basham, Division 10 Planning Engineer for the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
As you know, the Weddington Road Interchange project has been an on and off again project for a number of years. Most recently, we planned to construct the project in 2011. When the CRTPO (then MUMPO) prioritized its project list, this interchange was one of the lowest scoring projects. Since that indicated that it was not a high priority at the time, we chose not to move forward with construction. We still get regular inquiries about the project and have decided to move forward with its construction. We do have survey crews working in the area right now. I don’t know how much longer they will be there to complete their work. Basically, they are updating the mapping and survey information for the project as it is several years old and needs to be updated.
Weddington Road Interchange will be constructed as part of the Express Lanes project on I-485. We intend to let that project for bid sometime in July of this year – according to the current schedule. The design work will take roughly about a year after it is bid and the project is expected to take three years to build. Actual construction would begin in the Summer of 2017. Unfortunately, we cannot control when in that three year window the contractor might chose to construct the interchange, since it is a part of a 16 mile long project. Therefore, I cannot give you a timeframe for when the interchange might be complete and open to traffic.
The widening on I-485 near Weddington Road will be to add an Express Lane in each direction. When completed, there will be two general purpose lanes plus an Express Lane in each direction. I am sure you are aware that we constructed three general purpose lanes in each direction between Rea Road and I-77. We plan to extend the third general purpose lane in the eastbound direction (going toward Matthews) to Providence Road. That lane will terminate at Providence Road leaving only two lanes plus the Express Lane going east toward US 74 (Independence Boulevard).
Included is a copy of the Public Hearing Map from 2007. Generally the design is still the same, although some of the minor details may have changed as the project went through the design process.
If you wish to contact Stuart, his number is 704-845-1151 and email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.