CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Commute times on I-485 in south Charlotte could be cut in half once the 9 mile widening project is over, according to NCDOT District Engineer Louis Mitchell.

Right now the project is two years ahead of schedule. December 14th, 2014 is the scheduled completion date, when you might hear drivers cheer instead of jeer backups.

Up in the University Area, the last leg of the I-485 loop is nearly 2/3rds done. This winter, you can expect to see crews laying down a lot of concrete.

Next spring we should finish up a lot of the concrete and then it will be a lot of the window dressing, like signs and landscaping, Mitchell said.

That last leg is scheduled to open with much fanfare next fall.

Along I-85 in Concord, all lanes to Bruton Smith Boulevard from I- 485 will open in December.
In February, all lanes up to George Lyles Parkway are expected to open.

Overall, this work is a couple months behind schedule.

Environmental challenges and utility delays is what pushed us four months into the spring, Mitchell said.

Right now, widening Independence Boulevard is about a quarter complete and still at the point where there's not much to look at except for crews and debris.

Construction there is expected to finish in 2017.

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