Belmont Road bridge over I-85 to open Saturday
Update: Due to heavy rainfall at the project site, NCDOT has rescheduled the opening of the new Belmont Road interchange. Crews will now close the existing Belmont Road bridge late Friday night and open the new bridge to traffic Saturday morning.
Motorists can drive on the new Belmont Road bridge over I-85 in Davidson County for the first time, starting Thursday. Weather permitting, the N.C. Department of Transportation will open the newly reconstructed interchange at Exit 86 to traffic at 6 a.m.
Work to improve the interchange began almost a year ago. It included building the new Belmont Road bridge, constructing new entrance and exit ramps, and reconfiguring the approaching roadways. This work is part of the northern segment of the I-85 Corridor Improvement Project, the state’s number-one mobility project.
The new, four-lane Belmont Road bridge is a critical component of the project. It will not only provide motorists with a safer, more efficient way to cross over I-85, but it is also necessary to accommodate the widening work included in the project. Crews will expand 3.8 miles of the interstate from two lanes to four lanes in each direction, which will greatly improve traffic flow along this vital economic corridor.
Late Wednesday night, crews will begin closing the existing Belmont Road interchange. Once that process is complete, they will open the new interchange to traffic Thursday morning. Crews will then start dismantling the old Belmont Road bridge, completely removing the bridge to make way for the road widening.
This segment of the project is the first to receive funding from Gov. Bev Perdue’s Mobility Fund. She proposed its creation as a way to generate the money needed to pay for critical transportation projects of regional or statewide significance.
NCDOT broke ground in September 2010 on the southern segment of the project, which involves replacing eight bridges, widening 3.3 miles of I-85 from north of Long Ferry Road (Exit 81) in Rowan County to just north of the N.C. 150 interchange in Davidson County and reconstructing the N.C. 150 interchange. The northern segment extends the reach of the interstate widening 3.8 miles from north of N.C. 150 to just north of I-85 Business. Work on both phases is concurrent and is scheduled to be complete by May 2013.
For more information on both phases of the $201.5 million project, visit www.i-85yadkinriver.com. To receive instant updates on traffic pattern changes, construction-related congestion and project milestones, follow NCDOT’s I-85 Twitter feed, https://twitter.com/NCDOT_I85.