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Posted: 4:39 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, 2012
By Andrew Doud
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
New construction along Interstate 85 is projected to save the state millions of dollars, but some say they are ready to see the project complete.
"I just want to get home, and you still have to wait on the traffic," said Stephanie Briones, who drives I-85 every day.
All the construction is impossible to miss.
There are three separate projects scheduled to happen at the same time: the construction of I-485, the widening of I-85 and a new interchange that will link the two.
It's a new type of design which, at first, looks more like a knot.
But Ryan Lowder with Lane Construction says it's called a turbine interchange, and it is the first of its kind in the state.
One of the benefits of the turbine interchange is that cars can maintain highway speeds as they change interstates.
"The reason we got this job was the cost savings to the DOT," Lowder said.
Originally, the plan was to build what's called a stacked bridge interchange, similar to the one on Interstate 77 near Carowinds.
However, the turbine interchange uses fewer materials and, as a result, is less expensive to construct.
The new turbine design will save the state about $30 million. The cost of all three projects will come in almost $100 million under the original projected budget.
Construction is expected to be complete in June 2014.
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