According to the North Carolina DOT (NCDOT), the project will add an express lane in the median in each direction on I-485 between I-77 and U.S. 74 (Independence Boulevard) to improve traffic flow in this critical transportation corridor. One general-purpose lane will also be added to I-485 in each direction between Rea Road and Providence Road. None of the existing lanes will be tolled.
The I-485 Express Lanes are part of a larger network of express lanes implemented by the North Carolina Turnpike Authority in the Charlotte area. The first toll project in the region was the Monroe Expressway, which opened in November 2018 after three years of construction and many years of planning and collaboration. Plans are also being developed for a U.S. 74 Express Lanes project, which will add an express lane on the corridor between I-277 and Idlewild Road.
To minimize the duration of construction along the project corridor, three other projects will be constructed at the same time as the I-485 Express Lanes: The Ballantyne Commons Parkway bridge widening, a new interchange at Weddington Road, and John Street interchange improvements.
The state of North Carolina will own the I-485 Express Lanes, while the Turnpike Authority and NCDOT are managing the planning, construction, operations, and maintenance of the express lanes.
The express lanes are expected to open to traffic in the fall of 2022.
SOURCE: North Carolina DOT