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Independence Boulevard widening continues into Fall

As work continues to widen a 1.6-mile section of Independence Boulevard in east Charlotte, the N.C. Department of Transportation and contractor Lane Construction expect to complete the $51.2 million project this fall. The project has been underway since the spring of 2013.

Remaining work on the project includes milling pavement in both directions between Wallace Lane and Harris Boulevard, a section that was recently added to the project. Performing this work will tie in to an adjacent section that was resurfaced last year, providing a smoother ride for motorists.

A traffic signal will be installed at Sharon Forest Road and Independence Boulevard, allowing dedicated left turns for motorists traveling east or west on Independence Boulevard. Concrete islands will also be installed at the intersection.

The contractor must also finish tie-in work at driveways and cross streets, apply final asphalt surface to the roadway, put down final striping, and complete sign installation in the project limits.

When the project is complete, this section of Independence Boulevard will be converted to an expressway. The existing six-lane roadway will be widened to include four general purpose lanes and one bus lane in each direction. Bridges, or grade separations, have been completed at Sharon Amity Road, Idlewild Road, and Conference Drive.

Motorists using the interchange at Sharon Amity Road are reminded to use the new loop ramp to access U.S. 74 East. During construction of the interchange, traffic was directed from U.S. 74 East along Charleston Drive to access Sharon Amity Road. Now that the loop ramp is open for access to and from U.S. 74 East, Charleston Drive is intended only for local traffic.

Transportation officials remind motorists to drive safely, obey all posted speed limits, detour signs and work-zone postings.

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