by: Stephanie Coueignoux Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A road widening project in Ballantyne is causing some major delays for drivers.
Crews are working on the area right now: Elm Lane between Ballantyne Commons Parkway and Williams Pond Road.
“I see a lot of road rage out there. People are starting to get pretty crazy," said Alex Smile.
More than 36,000 drivers travel through this Ballantyne intersection every day and most have sat through a lot of traffic.
“It's a nightmare,” Smile said. “It's like a whole other hour you have to plan just to sit in your car.”
To help with backup, the city is now adding several turn lanes.
“I know from personal experience, a very dangerous intersection," said Charlotte City Council member Ed Driggs, who represents the area.
Construction is expected to finish early next year. But before traffic gets better, it will get worse. Officials say with construction-related road closures and other nearby projects, drivers should add even more time to their commute.
“We need to recognize that the widening of 485 is going to have spillover effects and place extra demand," Driggs said.
Drivers we spoke with are hopeful this project will help, but they're not necessarily convinced.
“I don't see it's going to happen -- there are just too many people that have moved into this area and they never planned for it," Smile said.
It's a concern Driggs also shares, “The development is so rapid, it's hard to keep up in terms of anticipating all the needs.”
City engineers told us they haven't planned for any more road project. They do believe this one will help at least a little.
“Be patient with us. We will give you a better product,” city engineer Bryan Tarlton said.
This portion of the project costs $3 million. Officials say by including recycled materials in the pavement, they're saving taxpayers $1 million.
This intersection project is the first of three the city has planned.