NCDOT, CATS announce changes for All-Star weekend

With 150,000 visitors expected in the Queen City, for NBA All-Star weekend, transit authorities are making changes to brace for the crowd and ensure smooth, safe travel. 

The North Carolina Department of Transportation says some lane closures will be suspended to ease traffic, and the Charlotte Area Transit says anyone taking public transportation can also expect changes. 

NCDOT says 22 bridges where lanes are currently closed will be fully open beginning the morning of Thursday, Feb. 14 until Monday night. 

In addtion, it was announced on Monday that the new I-277 westbound to I-77 southbound ramp near uptown Charlotte is permanately open beginning at 3 p.m. 

CATS says after 5 p.m. from Feb. 15-17 riders will need to carry personal items in a clear bag so security can quickly conduct sweeps at the 3rd and 7th Street stations, where all riders will be required to exit and reboard for the security check. 

Riders with belongings that are not in a clear bag will not be allowed to reboard the train and will have to walk to an open LYNX station to continue their trip. This security measure will be in place until the end of service each night.

CATS will operate LYNX Blue Line trains every 15 minutes four hours before the start of the first All-Star event at the Spectrum Center.