Leaders want temporary relief off Exit 28 - | WBTV Charlotte

Leaders want temporary relief off Exit 28


Cornelius town leaders met with transportation officials and school leaders Monday to figure out the best way to deal with the confusing Diverging Diamond Interchange.

It's located off Exit 28 on Interstate 77. It's the first of its kind in North Carolina. Many say once the construction is complete it will make traffic flow better. But at present time traffic is a nightmare.

"Frustrating," Driver Cynthia Seely said. "Particularly when you are late to get to something you need to get to."

Major concern is for Charlotte Mecklenburg schools (CMS) that are in the area. Students start back to class on August 25. Thousands of students will load buses and pack cars to encounter the construction zone.

"We are going to have delays," CMS School Board Member Rhonda Lennon said. "We are going to have busses running late. We are going to have kids getting home later than we would like."

Lennon is encouraging parents to put their kids on the bus to help eliminate cars on the road. She says some CMS staff members have made dry runs in their cars to see how the construction zone would impact buses.

"If they were out there Friday," Lennon said. "There was a 45 minute wait to get across the interstate."

People expressed their concern how the project has slowed things down. Suggestions range from opening up more lanes, shutting down some lanes to better communication between construction leaders and drivers.

"Our crystal ball," NC DOT Engineer Louis Mitchell said. "Didn't reveal to us that we would have these complications, but we will take these lessons learned and apply them in the future."

The main solution leaders believe is to finish the project sooner rather than later. Leaders want to know how much it will be to finish the Diverging Diamond Interchange.

"Lets speed it up," Cornelius Mayor Chuck Travis said. "Let's get it done and see what that dollar value is."

Leaders say they will look into all the recommendations and come up with a plan that will offer motorists temporary relief.

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