CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A busy intersection in the Mint Hill area will be closed for eight weeks as part of a $1.8 million construction project.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation announced a project to build a roundabout at the intersection of N.C. 51 and Idlewild Road, connecting the Mint Hill and Matthews communities. In order to complete the project, the intersection will be completely closed starting Friday, June 23. The closure is scheduled for eight weeks and the project is expected to be completed by September 8.
Crews officially closed the road around 9 a.m. Friday.
For now, some people are a bit skeptical about the project.
"We'll have to see if it actually helps traffic or not," said Joe Wood.
"There's going to be a big imposition," said Teressa Coleman. "I think about a bunch of traffic, blowing horns, and people getting angry because they can't move."
Several businesses will be affected by the closure, although officials with NCDOT said the businesses will still be accessible during the closure. Those businesses include Walgreens, the Hoods Crossroads Shopping Center, as well as a convenience store and CVS pharmacy. Employees from those businesses believe it's going to be tough during the closure.
"I think it's going to be really important for us to rely on our regular customers that are determined to get their coffee in the morning," said Ashley Landen, who works at Nova's Bakery & Coffee Shop.
NCDOT announced the following detours associated with the closure:
Outbound traffic will be detoured from Idlewild Road to Margaret Wallace Road. Motorists will turn right and follow Margaret Wallace to Sam Newell Road, where they’ll turn left until they reach Highway 74. Motorists will then take the ramp to the outer loop of I-485 until they reach the Idlewild Road ramp (Exit 49).
Inbound traffic on Idlewild will be detoured to I-485 outer to Lawyers Road (Exit 47). From there, drivers will exit the interstate and turn left onto Layers Road toward Mint Hill. Drivers will cross Highway 51 and turn left at Lebanon Road before bearing right to Margaret Wallace. Drivers can then turn left onto Idlewild or turn right toward W.T. Harris Boulevard.
Southbound traffic on Highway 51 will be detoured left onto Lawyers Road to I-485. Motorists will then take the exit toward Matthews and exit to Highway 74 West and follow to Highway 51. A left turn will allow drivers to continue south on Highway 51, and a right will return traffic toward the road closure.
Northbound traffic on Highway 51 will turn right to reach Highway 74 East, then take the outer loop of I-485 to Lawyers Road (Exit 47). At the ramp, drivers will turn left, staying on Lawyers Road toward Mint Hill, ultimately reaching Highway 51 again. Drivers will then be able to turn left back toward the road closure, or they may continue northbound on Highway 51 by turning right.