People in the Mountain Island Lake area could soon get some breathing room during their morning commute.
Highway 16 is a busy route during rush hours and at one intersection it's causing backups and safety concerns.
Charles Eldridge owns a coffee shop near the intersection.
"People are in a hurry in the mornings. They just have time to stop, grab their coffee and keep moving," he said.
During the morning commute, the area is jammed with thousands of drivers making their way to work.
Eldridge said the rush, congestion and the road's current design have been a problem for years.
He said the most dangerous area is the exit near his coffee shop.
"There's been multiple accidents out here and there are times of the day when it's almost like just closing your eyes and driving out into a freeway," he said.
"It's been a problem for almost 14 years," said city councilman James Mitchell.
Mitchell said a plan is in place that would help alleviate some of those issues.
Four projects are planned to address different problems in and around the intersection.
The first adds a turn lane for those heading east on 16. The second adds a second lane to cross over 16 for people traveling on Mount Holly-Huntersville Road. The third adds a concrete median in the same spot Eldridge said is the most dangerous. Finally, a stop light will be added at the intersection of Mount Holly Huntersville and Couloak Drive.
"We have studied the traffic patterns and we're making some small adjustments, but it's going to be big returns for the citizens," Mitchell said.
The project will cost about $1.3 million and is expected to begin in the fall or early next spring.
Mitchell said it will only take about nine months to complete, compared with three years if each project was done independently.