CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Almost any driver in Charlotte these days knows every major road is under major construction.

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Officials call them the big three -- plus one.

We can't recall a time in recent memory when we have had this much concurrent work happening, says Jen Thompson, the spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation.

The three major construction projects:

  • I-85 widening up into Concord.
  • The final 6 miles of I-485 in the Mallard Creek area.
  • A first of its kind interchange in North Carolina to connect the two.

And that's just the big three.

If you go on any major road in Charlotte right now there is some sort of construction happening, Thompson said.

There's also that smaller project -- widening 485 on the south side.

It does get really pretty backed up in the mornings, just because of all the construction, said driver Colee Haisten.

Time estimates for these projects:

The 85 expansion toward Concord?

Some lanes could open later this year!

485 in the North and those interchanges?

They should be done by the end of 2014.

The widening from 77 through Ballantyne?

NBC Charlotte got a look at the progress: concrete and rock walls will eventually hold a flyover, which will ease morning rush hour traffic on 521.

The project should be done by December of 2014.

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