No changes coming to dangerous I-85 curve

Dangerous I-85 ramp won't see changes soon

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Truck drivers tell NBC Charlotte a ramp along Interstate 85 is the toughest spot in this part of the state for them to drive on and it has lead to several rollovers over the last couple of years.

"It is a dangerous curve," said former truck driver Duane Allen. "If you don't slow it down, you will lose it."

North of Charlotte, it starts when merging from I-85 south onto I-77 south. After taking the exit the ramp bending hard to the left begins. Once the turn is done drivers are off of I-85 and onto I-77.

Allen says he drove for 15 years and doesn't remember any spot in the area that was tougher to maneuver a truck through.

"It's the busiest in the state but it's also a very tight area," said NCDOT Spokesperson Jen Thompson. "Lots of development, residences, businesses and schools around there."

Thompson says over a two-year stretch from April 2012 to March 2014, three trucks rolled over on the curve mainly because of the amount of weight they were towing at too quick of a speed around the bend. Just last week another truck rolled over here, but Thompson says at this time there aren't any plans to modify the curve.

"We would love to be able to fix it all and redo the whole thing, but we're looking at a pretty hefty price tag in the hundreds of millions of dollars that we just don't have," Thompson said.

As an alternative, they're focusing on educating drivers before they make the turn. Some of the preventative safety measures the DOT has implemented over the last few years are large signs warning 18-wheelers of the curve ahead and "your speed" signs, letting them know how fast they're going as they approach the turn.

Allen says he understands the D.O.T.'s predicament.

"I don't think there's anything they can do with it really. It's just one of those turns that you, like I said, have to use common sense and just slow it down. It'd be nice if they could do something with it, but I don't see that happening."

Thompson tells us there are concepts being discussed but no plans on paper. She says if anything were to change on the curve, it would be at least a decade away.


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