New Charlotte outlet mall has homeowners excited but worried

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

The Charlotte Premium Outlets are a little more than a week away from opening in Steele Creek -- and it's expected to create a traffic nightmare.

Channel 9 spoke with neighbors who are excited for the economic impact the outlets will have, but not the traffic problems that will come with it.

Some homeowners who live along Highway 160 for more than 30 years said they never imagined this type of progress would ever come to the Steele Creek area. But not everyone was excited about it.

North Carolina Department of Transportation crews are building a median on Highway 160 right in front of the outlet mall. They're hoping the work will be complete ahead of next week's big grand opening.

Most people living along Highway 160 described the traffic woes on a normal day as unbearable. Adding to that the thousands of new travelers the mall is expected to bring in and some homeowners feel like it will take them hours just to get out of their neighborhood and get to work.

“Ooh, bumper to bumper. It's hard to get out and when you do get out you're taking your life in your hands because traffic is so heavy that people come so fast through there,” said Delores Sosebee.

Traffic is expected to be the worst during the typical peak drive times from 6 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m.

Currently, there is no timetable on when the highway will be widened.