MOORESVILLE For the second time in recent years, the high-growth Lake Norman area has another Interstate 77 interchange.
I-77 Exit 35 opened Friday morning at Brawley School Road. It’s designed to help relieve congestion on that road, one of Lake Norman’s prime arteries, and bottlenecks on N.C. 150 a mile to the north.
Besides the new interchange, the $22.5 million project added one lane in each direction on Brawley School Road from Williamson Road to just past Talbert Road, just east of the new interchange – for a total of four lanes along the 1.2-mile stretch.
In addition, two turn lanes were added in each direction on Brawley at Williamson and, closer to the interstate, a turn lane in each direction at Brawley’s intersection with Rolling Hill Road (Lakeside Business Park) and Silver Hook Drive.
Daily traffic counts on Brawley School Road range up to 31,900 vehicles and are expected to reach 44,700 by 2030, the state Department of Transportation estimates.
Sidewalks and bicycle lanes also were added on both sides of Brawley School Road from Williamson to near the new interchange.
State transportation officials have said Exit 35 will give drivers another east-west option – one less traffic-clogged than N.C. 150 – for traveling across Mooresville.
Federal stimulus money from the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act paid for the second leg of Brawley School Road’s widening.
The first section – 3.8 miles from south of Southfork Road near Trump National Golf Club Charlotte to just east of Williamson Road – was completed before the start of school in summer 2011. That section cost about $25 million.
The latest leg hit the precise schedule state transportation officials targeted several years ago for Exit 35’s opening, actually earlier than scheduled: They’d targeted July.
The other new interchange, Exit 31, opened in 2009.
Marusak: 704-987-3670; on Twitter: @ jmarusak
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