Interstate 77 northbound is clogged from north Charlotte to Mooresville after a wreck whacked a pole that held a sign over the interstate.
Two of three lanes will remain closed until later Friday afternoon past Langtree Road Exit 31 in southern Iredell County while crews remove party of the sign structure damaged by the wreck.
The damage created a safety hazard to drivers and must be removed before the lanes can reopen, the state Department of Transportation said.
U.S. 21 and N.C. 115, which run parallel to the interstate, are also experiencing heavy backups as drivers try to avoid the mess.
Backups on I-77 stretch to at least Exit 19 (I-485), and the state encourages drivers to avoid the area if possible.
Overhead message signs on I-77, I-85 and I-485 are alerting drivers to seek alternate routes.