• Construction on I-277 creates headache for drivers during peak traffic hours

    By: Blaine Tolison

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - New lane closures on Interstate 277 are creating a big traffic mess during rush hour.

    Channel 9 spoke to drivers who said it’s added more than 20 minutes to their drive to work.

    The John Belk Freeway and ramp from Independence Boulevard are both jammed as a result of projects holding up thousands of drivers.  

    [ALSO READ: 1 seriously injured after SUV overturns, backs up traffic on I-77]

    Nate Houston said he’s tried different routes but there is no easy way, other than rushing out the door earlier than usual.

    "It's kind of like jumbled up and messed up right now,” said Houston. "I done been late to work a couple times, probably like 20 additional minutes from leaving my house."

    Drivers said it was never easy driving in uptown Charlotte, but with two projects shutting down portions of Interstate 277 around peak travel times, it has only gotten worse.

    [ALSO READ: I-77 toll lane project to be delayed months, officials say]

    Katie Moscovich said she doesn’t work uptown but came Tuesday for jury duty with the best intentions of being on time.

    "I gave myself an hour, I thought that was plenty of time," said Moscovich. "Took about 25 extra minutes, so I was late today, unfortunately."

    The problem points are John Belk Freeway, near Independence Boulevard, where the North Carolina Department of Transportation is working around the clock to patch up a total of 22 bridges. The Interstate 77 toll lane project has also shut down a key ramp from the Brookshire Freeway to 77 southbound.

    [ALSO READ: Hundreds sign petition for more safety measures in I-77 construction zone]

    NCDOT hopes to have this project wrapped up before the NBA All-Star game in mid-February, but the work near Brookshire Freeway is going to take much longer.

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