CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Traffic on I-277 is nothing new, but a lane closure near uptown is now causing even more of a slowdown.
The right lane of the Inner Loop is closed between mile 2.9 and 2.0 and the left lane of the ramp from westbound Independence Boulevard is also closed.
NC-DOT says the construction in this area is on bridges at Third Street, Fourth Street and Elizabeth Ave.
Commuters are rethinking their morning drive.
“Typically it’ll take 20 minutes, now it’s 40 minutes," Marketa Lucas said.
“I’ve tried a few alternate routes but to no avail,” Demarc Ramanand said. “The bottleneck of traffic there has somehow affected all the alternate routes as well.”
Other drivers understand it's the way it goes.
“I don’t really mind it that much. I understand it’s a necessity to get the job done,” Matthew Elleby said.
NC-DOT says it’s part of an ongoing project to repair 22 bridges, costing $16.3 million.
Thanks to barrier walls, the lane is closed 24/7.
“They have to do some cutting into the concrete to get to subgrade,” NC-DOT Communications Officer Jen Thompson said. “Having that barrier wall is a safety precaution because we certainly don’t want to create unsafe travel conditions for drivers.”
The added traffic comes smack dab in the middle of the holiday season, and with snow in the forecast this weekend.
“We’re at the mercy of the weather at this point,” Thompson said.
She says there is never a good time to do this kind of construction.
“It is an inconvenience to drivers and we want to see it get done as quickly as possible,"she said.
The work on these three bridges will wrap up by December 21st, because holiday restrictions kick in on the 22nd. Meanwhile, the entire bridge project will be completed by July 2019.