Major changes coming to southern stretch of I-485

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Work could be started as soon as next week on a new interchange at Weddington Road and Interstate 485.

“It's good to have access to the highway now,” a driver said.

It is part of a three-year construction plan on nearly 20 miles of I-485, which will include toll lanes on the loop in that area.

[Work on I-485 toll lanes in Charlotte to start next summer]

Some drivers are not happy about adding tolls.

“I do wish we didn’t have to pay tolls just to drive around, to get you from work and things like that,” motorist Lewis Carter said.

Crews are closing the ramp overnight from John Street to the inner loop of I-485 starting Monday.

The entrance ramp from Johnston Road to the inner loop will be closed overnight from March 20-22.

“It will be a short duration,” North Carolina Department of Transportation spokeswoman Jennifer Thompson said. “No earlier than midnight and keeping them closed until about 5 o’clock the next morning.”

Major work will begin late this summer.

I-485 from U.S. Highway 74 to Interstate 77 will get a toll lane in each direction and a bridge will be widened on Ballantyne Commons Parkway.

There will be general purpose lanes on I-485 between exits between Rea and Providence roads, an improved John Street interchange and the Weddington Road interchange.

“The actual interchange is still under design, so we don’t have a schedule or phase for when that will happen,” Thompson said.

The I-485 toll lanes will be built and operated by NCDOT and the state expressway authority.

There will be opportunities for public input on the upcoming construction, officials said.

“We want to hear their questions and concerns,” Thompson said. “That’s why we want to schedule additional meetings.”

There's no date set for those meetings.

The I-485 project completion is expected to be in late 2022.