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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -
It's a question many drivers in the Metro Charlotte area have been asking, when will the construction and widening of 485 be completed to help alleviate gridlock in the morning and evening commutes?
North Carolina Department of Transportation officials say the completion of 485 is on schedule, which is great news for drivers who say they want to see some help from traffic nightmares.
Drivers like Michelle Childers, who says she steers clear of 485 altogether.
"I live over in the Matthews area and when I commute in the mornings, I go through Ballentyne and completely avoid 485," said Childers.
She's not alone.
"When you're trying to get to work on time, it can be pretty frustrating. More so in the morning when you're going into Uptown Charlotte, it gets pretty bad," said driver Steven Moore.
"It's really bad. If I'm late for work then it ruins my whole day," said driver Joel Clark.
There is relief in sight.
According to DOT officials, completion of the top end of 485 and widening of the south end are on schedule to be finished later this year in December.
Even better news for some drivers, the flyover ramp at Johnston Road is expected to be completed by the end of this month.
The flyover ramp will eliminate the traffic light at the busy intersection, providing direct access to 485.
With all that being said, there may be another issue once construction is complete.
With the widening of the south end of 485, some drivers are concerned it'll create a bottleneck at the I-77 merger.
It's an issue DOT officials say they'll pay attention to closely.
"We are aware that we're going to have additional capacity and how is that's going to affect people trying to merge and for people already on 77 coming from South Carolina, so that's something that we'll have to keep a close eye on," said NC DOT Communications Officer Jen Thompson.
As for some drivers, they say at this point, any relief is better than none.
"It's very frustrating. I get angry when people are weaving in and out of traffic just to get a little faster and suddenly the cars will come to a screeching halt. Luckily, I've never been involved in an accident, but it's only a matter of time," said Childers.
DOT officials say other than the Johnston Road Flyover, the new lanes will more than likely open all at once later this year in December and not in sections.