Blythe Construction teams have entered their second month of continuous work on the I-485 Express Lanes project in southern Mecklenburg County. The NCDOT-owned project is the latest installment of a locally-proposed network of express lanes designed to increase the reliability of travel times throughout this rapidly-growing region of the Carolinas. Once completed, the express lanes will provide motorists with an optional variable toll lane, available for daily or occasional use depending on motorists’ preference.
The scope of the project includes adding one express lane in either direction of I-485 between I-77 and US-74 (Independence Boulevard), as well as adding one general-purpose lane in each direction between Rea Road and Providence Road to provide further alleviation of commuter traffic. In addition, Blythe teams will perform improvements at five existing structures within the work zone—Westinghouse Boulevard, Johnston Road, Elm Lane, Ballantyne Commons Parkway, and East John Street—to accommodate future widening projects. A new intersection will also be added at Weddington Road.
By installing concrete barrier at night, and performing work within the median during day-time hours, Blythe and NCDOT have eliminated the need for daytime closures of any portion of I-485 for the entire three-year duration of the project.
Beginning in August of this year, teams spent the early weeks of the project operating only at night, installing concrete barrier wall throughout the work zone to block off the median from traffic. The night-time installation was part of an overall schedule and goal to reduce the project’s impact on traffic. By installing concrete barrier at night, and performing work within the median during day-time hours, Blythe and NCDOT have eliminated the need for daytime closures of any portion of I-485 for the entire three-year duration of the project.
More than 45 Blythe team members making up five construction crews are currently operating out of the project’s field office on Providence Road. Their focus until now has been installing storm drainage and performing rough and fine grade-work within the center median to prepare for the express lanes and early installation of the third general purpose lane between Rea Road and Providence Road. Moving into the fall construction season, between two and three additional crews will join the ranks to begin bridge work.
For more information on the $346 million project, visit NCDOT’s website: https://www.ncdot.gov/projects/i-485-express-lanes/Pages/default.aspx