Busy I-77 ramp near uptown reopens in time for NBA All-Star Weekend

Busy I-77 ramp near uptown reopens after months of construction, heavy congestion

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — After months of construction, the ramp from Interstate 277 to Interstate 77 near uptown Charlotte has reopened just in time for the NBA All-Star Weekend.

Construction on the Express Lane Bridge replacement began in late September. It was supposed to only last two months, but cold, wet weather delayed the project.

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It’s a huge relief for drivers. The ramp is one of Charlotte’s busiest interchanges.

"It's definitely put me out of the way," said driver James Early.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation said the ramp reopened at 3 p.m. Monday.

Early said he commutes to Charlotte from Rock Hill and the ramp's closure added extra time to his drive.

“It's probably added about 30 extra minutes a day,” Early said.

Traffic Team 9’s Mark Taylor monitors the backups due to the ramp daily and said the reopening will relieve most of that congestion. He said the delays were made worse by other projects that began while the ramp remained closed, including construction on the south side of the loop near Bank of America Stadium.

“The biggest thing about this is that's going to relieve all the congestion that we've been seeing on the John Belk Freeway, that bridge work getting on toward Morehead. That will relieve the congestion we've seen there. Of course, it will be just in time for this week's All-Star Game," Taylor said.

The bridge work is part of a $16.3 million project to improve 22 bridges along the John Belk Freeway.