By Dave Vieser
Dec. 12 The night time lane closings at the Interstate 77 interchange (Exit 28) in Cornelius have been pushed back a week due to excessive rainfall and will begin on Monday December 16th, instead of Monday December 9th.
The work is the start of a major rebuilding project being undertaken by the North Carolina Department of Transportation, which will eventually result in Exit 28 becoming a diverging diamond interchange (DDI). Some delays can be anticipated, and motorists using Catawba Avenue in Cornelius are urged to consider alternate routes.
In a DDI, the east and westbound traffic on Catawba Avenue will cross to the opposite sides as it crosses the I-77 bridge.
Studies have shown that the DDI design increases safety and efficiency at the interchange, especially since left turns into opposing traffic are all but eliminated.
While a significant portion of the work will be performed at night, there will be a four-month continuous period of time in the summer of 2014 when only one lane of traffic in each direction across the bridge, will be permitted. This will allow for construction of concrete medians, walls, permanent traffic signals, and sidewalks.
The entire project is expected to take up to 18 months to complete.