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I-77 closed as Obama leaves arena

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Motorists on Interstate 77 and elsewhere in south Charlotte can expect delays between now and 12:15 a.m., as the motorcade carrying President Obama returns to southern Mecklenburg County from the uptown area.

The president appeared briefly on stage at Time Warner Cable Arena about 11:15 p.m. with former President Clinton, after the conclusion of Clinton’s speech during the Democratic National Convention.

The N.C. Department of Transportation says southbound I-77 will be closed until at least midnight for what is termed a “special event.” That phrase was used earlier Wednesday evening when the president’s motorcade left Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge, where Obama is staying, for the trip to Charlotte’s center city.

South Charlotte traffic came to a standstill Wednesday night while the president’s motorcade traveled uptown. I-77 was closed for about 30 minutes, and motorists reported traffic was at a near-standstill on South Boulevard and South Tryon Street, as well.

More road closures are likely Thursday, on the final day of the convention.

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