CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Motorists in north Charlotte are calling it one of the biggest traffic tie ups ever and they don't understand why.
Orange barrels have been blocking lanes at a major intersection for years but there's never been any construction.
The intersection at Mallard Creek Road and West WT Harris Boulevard is one of the busiest in Charlotte. Block off a few lanes and it can be a mess.
One driver was asked what she thought of all the barrels in place even though no construction was going on. "It's actually annoying," she said.
"I take my children to school every morning and this light takes so much longer than it has to," the woman said. "These barrels have been up probably a year before they've even done any work and as you can clearly see, they still haven't done any work!"
There are two turning lanes on eastbound West WT Harris Boulevard onto Mallard Creek Road, but one of the turning lanes is blocked by the all-too-familiar-to-motorists orange barrels. That's because only one of the two lanes on north Mallard Creek Road is open.
The other lane is blocked by the orange barrels as well.
It's not that Charlotte hasn't seen its share of orange construction barrels. The problem here is that these barrels have been up for years but there's been no construction work.
Frustrated motorists want to know why are barrels being put up if no work is being completed.
Another motorist said she was very aggravated with the road. "Why do you have two lanes and you cannot drive and you backing up traffic because you got one lane blocked," she said. "And I don't understand why the lane is blocked. Why can't it be two lanes?"
The construction that's supposed to happen here is part of a larger project known as the North Graham Street Extension Project. That project began in January 2014. Nearly four years later and it's still not complete!
It appears they actually did some work at Mallard Creek Road and Harris Boulevard but that's been a long time ago and the construction has stopped. In fact, weeds are now taking over.
So, what's taking so long?
According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, there was a set-back.Some unforeseen utility conflicts came up and work on the project was suspended for more than a year!
The NCDOT said the work has now resumed. Even though you may not see work happening at Mallard Creek and Harris Boulevard right now, there is work happening in other areas of the project, according to the NCDOT.
Work at Mallard Creek and Harris Boulevard is expected to ramp up any day now. So the good news is that the barrels will soon be protecting actual construction work.
The not so good news is that motorists are going to have to put up with the barrels for a bit longer. The construction project isn't scheduled to be completed until spring of next year.
The next community meeting regarding the project will be held at 7 p.m. on May 15 at the Derita Presbyterian Church on West Sugar Creek Road.