Drivers prepare for traffic trouble ahead of Billy Graham funeral

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The funeral for Reverend Billy Graham is expected to bring more than 2,000 guests and dignitaries to Charlotte Friday.

To prepare for the service, officials are closing the road named in Graham's honor.

The Billy Graham Parkway will be closed in both directions between South Tryon Street (NC 49) and Tyvola Road at 12 a.m. Friday until the funeral is over in the afternoon.

Traffic will be detoured away from the road and drivers expect it may cause some delays.

"Everyone is going to know about the detour route and take that detour route. Considering we have other activities in Charlotte with the CIAA going on, that's going to create a whole lot more traffic," said Alana McClendon, a driver for Uber and Lyft.

McClendon said that the big events bringing in out-of-town traffic may cause traffic trouble.

"We have a lot of people that's not from Charlotte that don't know where they're going so that's gonna be just a little bit chaotic," said McClendon.

Jason Espinosa, another Uber driver, said the Billy Graham Parkway closure could create traffic problems because there will still be a lot of regular street traffic in Charlotte.

"There's still a lot of flights coming in from the airport and it's gonna be a little headache for everybody finding different ways to get around the parkway and get to their destination," said Espinosa.

Jen Thompson, a spokesperson for the North Carolina Department of Transportation, said drivers should be prepared for delays.

"Leave extra early, add some extra time to your drive and also just be patient and bear with folks as they try to navigate through it," said Thompson.

She said that officials hope to have the Parkway opened back up by rush hour Friday.

Detour information can be found here.

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