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Officials encourage caution for heavy traffic around Concord Mills

CONCORD – The Concord Police Department strongly encourages motorists to prepare for traffic congestion this weekend in the I-85 exit 49 area near Concord Mills.

This weekend will be the final shopping weekend of the holiday season and officials expect to see an extremely high volume of traffic in and near a relatively small area of the city.

Last weekend, the traffic volume was compounded by the coordinated traffic signal system in the Concord Mills area being offline while contractors continued preliminary road improvements related to NCDOT’s $10 million project to improve traffic flow into the shopping center.

Without the communication and coordination system functioning properly, the traffic signals do not run as efficiently, nor can they be actively adjusted to address real-time conditions. This causes traffic problems to become worse.

City Transportation staff, who manage and maintain traffic signals on behalf of NCDOT within city limits, have been working closely with NCDOT and contractors to restore proper signal function. All entities are working diligently to restore the system by the end of the week. NCDOT advises that road work in the area will pause for the next few months.

“After Friday, our contractors across the state are not going to be working on site for the remainder of the year,” said NCDOT Communications Officer Jen Thompson. “Work on this project will not resume until several months into 2019.”

Officials ask motorists to be prepared for heavy congestion during the anticipated busy shopping weekend throughout Concord Mills and Bruton Smith Boulevards. Motorists using these facilities only to reach other areas should consider alternate routes to alleviate some of the congestion.

“We suggest using alternate routes to alleviate some of the congestion this weekend,” said Concord Police Chief Gary Gacek. “For those shopping or dining in the area, please be patient and courteous to other motorists.”

Additionally, Concord Police are coordinating with Simon Properties (operators of Concord Mills) to ensure safety in the area and to move traffic as efficiently as possible, and suggest the following:

  • Allow vehicles wishing to change lanes the space and opportunity to do so.
  • Use the inner lane around Concord Mills for travel into the parking lot; and outer lane for travel to exit the parking lot. Expediting traffic out of the parking lot creates less congestion inside the parking lot.
  • Do not drive while distracted – a single crash is one too many and will negatively impact an already congested area.
  • Expect delays – law enforcement, transportation officials and business along Concord Mills and Bruton Smith Boulevards are doing their best to make this weekend a safe and enjoyable experience.

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