Three projects, three counties, one highway slowdown - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Three projects, three counties, one highway slowdown

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SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) -

Have you noticed that your ride along I-85 seems to be taking a little longer these days? The state says there are three major projects going in Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, and Rowan Counties, and it's going to be that way for a while.

Joy on Facebook posted this around 9 this morning. 'OMG, there is no reason traffic should be like this everyday! Move along people.'

It's a typical comment from drivers who are finding delays on 85 between the Rowan County line to the north and Charlotte to the south.

One scheduled delay was absent on Wednesday.  Weather stopped the bridge work that had been slowing traffic down every morning, near Highway 152 in southern Rowan, but it didn't take long to find an abundance of barriers, barrels, and brakelights.

"I drive from Charlotte to Cabarrus County everyday," said Willie Aldridge, a student at Rowan Cabarrus Community just of 85 and Highway 73. Students have to deal with traffic delays most everyday.  "Early in the mornings it's good, late at night, rough."

"The interstate is an absolute mess, it's taken me up to two hours to get from Salisbury to Charlotte," added WBTV Traffic Reporter Katie Garner. "You can expect to see this everyday until 2014 because it's so bad, and I'm seeing double the accidents I see on any area of Charlotte."

Garner pointed out that while there is an increase in accidents, most are the fender bender variety since cars are traveling at a reduced rate of speed.

The main area for delays is an 8 mile stretch from Cabarrus into Mecklenburg, with a lane closure and lane shift near 485. Drivers tell us it has slowed the commute and disrupted local business, but the state says it's necessary in order to widen the lanes.

On Wednesday a representative with the NC Department of Transportation told WBTV that they understand the frustrations that drivers are facing, but say that it is necessary as the work is being done to improve the interstate.

Jen Thompson also reminded drivers that changes in travel lanes will sometimes change day to day.

"Drivers need to be alert to changing conditions," Thompson told WBTV.  "And they really need to pay attention to the 55 mile an hour speed limit through the work zone.  That's in place 24/7."

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