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'North Bridge' to provide new passage over I-85 in University City

The bridge will cross I-85 relieving traffic and expanding access to services.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A new bridge is coming to the University City area of north Charlotte in the years ahead.

The city of Charlotte has approved the construction of the so-called North Bridge project, which will link the University Research Park on Research Drive with the Shoppes at University Place on JW Clay Blvd.  

The new bridge is intended to provide an additional connection alongside the existing bridges on West W.T. Harris Blvd. and West Mallard Creek Church Road. The bridge will be accessible to drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians and public transit. 

"Greater access creates more economic viability for the research park and everything on the opposite side of the bridge," Tobe Holmes, of University City Partners, a nonprofit supporting growth and development of the area, said. "Not just a great backdoor in, if you will, but also great for pedestrians and cyclists and e-bikers."

Credit: City of Charlotte
One of the design concepts reviewed by the city of Charlotte for a new bridge over Interstate 85 in Charlotte's University City neighborhood.

The bridge is also expected to increase access to the JW Clay LYNX station, providing service to the CATS Blue Line on North Tryon Street, and to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. It will also connect the future Doby Creek and Barton Creek greenways.

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During a May 22 meeting, the Charlotte City Council voted to approve another $4.7 million for the project, which now totals more than $42 million. Some of the projects would be paid for using federal funds.

Designers anticipate the bridge will act as a monumental entrance to Charlotte for drivers on Interstate 85 southbound. Final design concepts for the bridge featured various decor, the trademark crown logo of the city, and emboldened with the word "Charlotte." 

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Construction is expected to begin early next year.

Contact Kayland Hagwood at khagwood@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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