CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - North Carolina’s Department of Transportation is making big changes to a popular intersection in West Charlotte. The design is the first of its kind for the state.
NCDOT is setting up what’s called Continuous Flow Intersection. It’s supposed to make the road less congested. Right now, 62,000 cars travel through the area on a daily basis. This new traffic pattern is expected to alleviate headaches for drivers.
Bumper to bumper traffic is a pain.
“It’s just ridiculous,” said Joshua Schoenholz, who lives in the area.
“I hate that intersection,” said Princeton McDowell, another driver.
NCDOT hopes those reactions to the intersection are about to change.
“I think it’s a hazard,” McDowell continued.
N.C. 16 and Mount Holly Huntersville Road will soon be getting the state’s first Continuous Flow Intersection.
This is how it works. Drivers approach a traffic light and those turning left will be separated by drivers staying straight. The drivers turning left will now be guided by a traffic light instead of trying to turn on their own best judgment.
Some drivers say they are not sold on the idea just yet. They want to believe traffic will be cut down for those getting on and off N.C. 16, but will wait to see if constant brake lights will be a thing of the past before they make a final decision.
“Yes, yes, yep – you’re right,” McDowell confirmed.
NCDOT is promising to speed up the drive time by 70%.
“Not 70%. No, probably 10%. Definitely not 70%,” said Schoenholz, who’s skeptical.
A new Harris Teeter and other developments are in the works at this intersection and that’s why officials believe the facelift is needed. According to NCDOT, Georgia, Texas and several other states have seen success with the CFI.
But drivers here are worried the new intersection will cause confusion.
“I don’t think it will do any good because I’ve traveled from state to state and I’ve come across intersections like that and they’re confusing. Kind of like when they first put roundabouts in and nobody knew how to use them. Well, that’s kind of the same way,” said Schoenholz.
That’s why signs and pavement markings are posted to help guide drivers. NCDOT crews will be in the area to also help you get use to the updates.
This is the first CFI, but not the last. NCDOT plans to add more at Poplar Tent Road in Concord, Highway 160 & Highway 49 in southwest Charlotte and Highway 51 which is John Street in Matthews.
The contracts to build are worth $429.7 million, nearly $39 million under engineer estimates.