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Could I-485 Construction be pushed back to 2015?

If the state's Draft Strategic Transportation Improvement Program for 2009-2015 stays the same, it will.

It is entirely possible that the construction to complete the I-485 loop around Charlotte will not start until 2015, meaning that the loop may not be finished until 2018.

More importantly, the desperately needed widening of I-485 from I-77 to US 521 in Southern Mecklenburg County would also be delayed until 2015, if no changes are made from the draft to the final version.

The official verbiage is "To assist in balancing funds, construction of Segment 'E' delayed from FY 13 to FY 15." Segment 'E' is the missing link from I-77 in Huntersville to I-85 near Concord. The same "to assist in balancing funds" is used in delaying the widening of I-485 in Southern Mecklenburg County from 2013 to 2015.

I would not be surprised that there will be a large uproar from Charlotte, Mecklenburg and regional officials over this delay. The widening has been pushed strongly by transportation advocates in the region for the past few years. Also, communities in the northern part of the county will also be pushing strongly for the completion of the loop between Huntersville and Concord. concord and University officials see the missing link as an opportunity for growth for their communities.

In the past, the two projects (widening and building the missing link) have been at odds for tight highway dollars. With both projects pushed back even further, will both sides work together towards the best solution or will they step over each other wanting the money and perhaps pushing completion and traffic improvements within the loop back even further?

Division Ten Draft 2009-2015 STIP ---NCDOT

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