Road work causes insane backup on I-85

Traffic backed up for 10 miles on I-85 Wednesday between Kannapolis and China Grove. The culprit? A double dose of road work.

"Listen to some gospel music. What can you do?" said Ingrid Alexander, a driver.

"You can't get around it. You got to deal with it," another driver, Bryan Cannon, said.

"Getting on and then you're stuck," said Lawrence Schuh.

For the locals these growing pains have become an unwelcome way of life.

"Some days you can come down the interstate and it takes you ten minutes to get where you're going. Other days, it's an hour to an hour thirty minutes," said Yvette Butler, a passenger.

"I was an hour late two days ago. I had to go all the way to carowinds from here. I was about an hour late," James Safritallen, a motorcycle driver said.

This on-going project is widening I-85 between exits 55 and 63 in the Kannapolis-Concord area.

The traffic got even worse Wednesday because NCDOT closed one of only two northbound lanes for bridge construction. That knocked the usual freeway fury up a notch.

"When they tell everyone to get over to one lane, there are people who ride all the way to the arrow sign and try to get over. That slows down traffic," said Keri Henn who was riding with her two dogs.

"I’ve seen some who lay on the horn or flick people off,” Butler said.
So some try to avoid the craziness altogether.

"I live in the area, so if I can't get down I-85, I find a way around it. There are quite a few ways around it," Lawrence Schuh said.

"You can try to take the back roads, but sometimes that takes longer," said Cannon.

But here's what everyone agrees on. "Hope the wait is worth it," said Safritallen

The widening project will be complete near the end of next year 2017. Until then - at least part of the time - drivers will be stuck in first gear.
 

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