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New Charlotte intersection promised to alleviate 'very big delays'

The continuous flow intersection at Brookshire Boulevard and Mount Holly-Huntersville Road is the first for North Carolina.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A new intersection in Charlotte is the first of its kind in North Carolina and it's receiving national recognition for its design. 

The continuous flow intersection (CFI) at North Carolina Highway 16/Brookshire Boulevard and Mount Holly-Huntersville Road is the first in North Carolina. Brett Canipe, an engineer with the North Carolina Department of Transportation, called the intersection a major facelift.

"If you've ever driven through there, you knew that intersection was experiencing very big delays and long lines of cars," Canipe said.

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The intersection was completed in the spring of 2020. It's designed to accommodate increasing traffic volume in the coming years. An estimated 83,000 vehicles go through the intersection daily. 

"It was a much cheaper option," Canipe said. "The next option would've been a bridge, and so we were able to provide the traffic solution at a much lower cost to taxpayers and meet the demands of the growing urban area."

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Here's how the intersection works. Traffic is shifted into two stages so vehicles cross Highway 16 several hundred feet before making a left turn at the intersection. NCDOT's Mike Reese said the theory behind the design was to improve efficiency. 

"Also improves the safety and federal research is showing that crash reductions up to 12% are expected," Reese explained. 

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The intersection's complexity and unique design received a national award at the gala considered the "Academy Awards of the engineering industry." The award recognized criteria like complexity, degree of innovation, value and achievement. 

The project also stands to serve as a case study for growing communities across the state once the CFI is proven to be a successful alternative to traditional intersections. 

Contact Ruby Durham at rdurham@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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