CONCORD, N.C. -- A new traffic plan is expected to alleviate congestion near North Carolina’s busiest mall.
NCDOT announced a project Monday for a flyover bridge on Concord Mills Boulevard that will deliver shoppers straight to the mall without waiting at the light.
If you’re unfamiliar with a flyover bridge, it basically takes drivers up and over oncoming cars allowing for a continuous flow of traffic. The whole idea is to trim down on congestion on Concord Mills.
Born out of necessity, the plan for a $10.2 million flyover has been in the works since 2015.
“Just west of the interchange at 85, you’ve got at least 42,000 vehicles a day using that stretch,” NCDOT’s Jen Thompson said.
With that kind of usage, the traffic light at Concord Mills Boulevard and the first mall entrance can cause congestion all the way back to the I-85 exit ramp.
“That traffic signal tends to back up the boulevard,” Concord Mills general manager Ray Soporowski said. “Even though we have three [mall] entrances, our customers seem to migrate to that first entrance.”
That’s where the flyover bridge comes into play. Instead of two, left-hand turn lanes, a two-lane bridge will take mall-goers from Concord Mills Boulevard right to the mall without stopping.
“Rather than you coming up to a traffic signal to wait for a green light to make a left hand turn, what happens is you have a continuous flow where you come up, over and in,” Soporowski said.
The project is good news for shoppers, and for people who don’t like traffic.
“We appreciate NCDOT’s partnership to improve the experience for visitors and locals in one of the state’s busiest locations,” Concord Mayor Bill Dusch said in a statement. “Once completed the flyover will improve traffic flow to travelers using the I-85 ramps, Concord Mills Boulevard, and Bruton Smith Boulevard.”
Work on the project can begin as early as May 1, and the roadway portion of the construction is expected to be completed by June of 2020.