Contradicting I-485 detour signs leave drivers scratching their heads

Detour signs to major freeway in southeast Charlotte confuse drivers

STALLINGS, N.C. — If you’re looking for a sign, the two at the Old Monroe Road and Stallings Road intersection won’t bring you clarity.

One claims a detour for Interstate 485 is to the left, the other claims it is to the right. In reality, there are no detours in effect for I-485.

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When turning left on Stallings Road, the signs directed drivers to U.S. Highway 74. When turning right onto Potters Road, they directed drivers through Charlotte to I-485 off Providence Road.

If you approach the intersection from the other direction northbound, there are no detour signs.

Signs like these and traffic management plans are typical responsibilities for the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

But just like the detour arrows, this story goes in many different directions.

A spokesperson for NCDOT originally told Eyewitness News reporter Joe Bruno that the department didn't put the signs up, didn't know who did and it didn't know what project they were connected to.

A short time later, a worker for NCDOT came out and covered the signs with trash bags.

Behind one of those bags, you can see a bumper sticker with a phone number for a company called Stay Alert.

The phone number went to a Kernersville office. The office transferred Bruno's call to a Charlotte office. A representative for Stay Alert told Bruno he wasn't sure what project the signs were for and that they were put in place by a subcontractor.

Around 5 p.m. Thursday, a spokesperson for NCDOT told Bruno the department figured out more information.

The signs are related to the future express lane project on I-485. They were supposed to be installed facing each other and ideally covered. There is no timeline for when the detour will be put into place, but when it is, the signs will be displayed in a much less confusing manner.

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There is still some mystery surrounding the Stallings sign scandal. A spokesperson for NCDOT said the signs were correctly installed facing each other and it is possible someone purposely moved them to point them in the direction of traffic.

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