I-40/I-77 interchange project met with questions for drivers, business owners | Transportation
STATESVILLE - It's one the biggest and busiest crossroads in North Carolina, and it's one of the most out of date. The state is working on a major makeover for the I-77 and I-40 interchange in Statesville, and until that work can be completed, it will mean big changes for anyone who drives or runs a business in that area.
"I just think that it's needed, we're no longer little tiny Statesville, we are growing," said local business owner Carol Oliphant.
And going through growing pains. For years traffic around the I-40, I-77 interchange has been a mess. It was built in the 60's for 5000 cars a day, but now the number is more than 70,000, and expected to top 110,000 cars per day by 2035.
"It's just a congested area to begin with and getting off here it's making it more difficult because of all the congestion, construction going on," Oliphant added. She works at a sign shop near I-77. She thinks the completed project will be nice, but getting there will be a challenge. "I don't see how they're going to get this done by 2017 because of the setbacks and some of the things they've run into that are seen by us living here."
"I have a lot of people coming in, griping about the traffic, stuff like that," said Laz Barbere, owner of The Computer Shop of Statesville, located just off I-40. Like many he's heard the state say that the improvements will be good for business, eventually.
"Yeah, a lot more traffic I tell you that, people coming in," Barbere said.
For drivers there are lane shifts and concrete barriers. Drivers need to be aware of changing conditions as the work progresses. On paper it will look like the rendering above. It will mean more lanes, wider ramps, and will become a multi level interchange.
There are a lot of questions about this project. The state DOT has scheduled a question and answer session for the public. It will be held Wednesday, February 6 at 3pm at the Holiday Inn Express at the intersection of I-40 and US 21 in Statesville.
To see the details from the state DOT on the project, follow this link: http://www.ncdot.gov/projects/i40i77improvements/download/I_40_77_Fact_Sheet_web2.pdf
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