MINT HILL, N.C. - Crews have closed a busy intersection in Mint Hill as they start turning it into a roundabout.
An estimated 38,000 drivers pass through the intersection of Highway 51 and Idlewild Road every day.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation is building the roundabout to improve the flow of traffic. It’s expected to cost around $1.8 million.
Temporary lane closures were put in place Monday, and the entire intersection was closed Friday morning. It won’t reopen until Aug. 18, around the time when school starts again.
One of the biggest concerns about the construction is the response time to emergency calls. Mint Hill’s fire chief has asked a Union County volunteer fire department to help them. He’s also discouraging crews from using nearby parking lots as short cuts in the meantime.
The following detours will be posted for drivers:
Idlewild Road from Margaret Wallace Road:
Traffic will be detoured from Idlewild Road to Margaret Wallace Road. Motorists will turn right and follow Margaret Wallace Road to Sam Newell Road, turning left, following to U.S. 74 East. Staying east, motorists will take the ramp to the I-485 Outer Loop and follow to Idlewild Road (exit 49). A left turn will take motorists back toward the road closure, and a right turn will take motorists toward Hemby Bridge.
Idlewild Road from Union County:
Traffic will be detoured from Idlewild Road to the I-485 Outer Loop to Lawyers Road (exit 47). Motorists will exit the interstate and turn left, following Lawyers Road toward Mint Hill. Crossing N.C. 51, motorists will turn left at Lebanon Road, then bear right to Margaret Wallace Road. Drivers can then turn left on Idlewild Road toward the road closure, or turn right toward Harris Boulevard.
N.C. 51 from Mint Hill:
Traveling south on N.C. 51, motorists will turn left on Lawyers Road, following to Interstate 485, taking the exit to the Inner Loop toward Matthews. Motorists will exit to U.S. 74 West (exit 51A) and follow to N.C. 51. A left turn lets motorists continue south on N.C. 51 to Matthews, and a right turn will return traffic toward the road closure.
N.C. 51 from East Independence Blvd:
Traveling north on N.C. 51, motorists will turn right to access U.S. 74 East, following to Interstate 485, taking the Outer Loop toward Mint Hill. Motorists will exit at Lawyers Road (exit 47). At the exit ramp, motorists will turn left, staying on Lawyers Road toward Mint Hill, following to N.C. 51. Motorists can turn right on N.C. 51 to reach I-485, or turn left back toward the road closure.
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