Work to begin on roundabout at busy Charlotte area intersection

Work could begin as early as next week on a roundabout at N.C. 51 and Idlewild Road in southeast Mecklenburg County, bordering Matthews and Mint Hill, the state Department of Transportation announced this week.

The N.C. Department of Transportation has awarded a $1.8 million contract for the roundabout, the DOT said

Blythe Construction Inc., the lead contractor, can start on the project as early as Monday, according to the DOT. The project is scheduled to be finished by Sept. 8.

Crews intend to close the intersection for two months beginning on June 23. Drivers will still have access to businesses.

Blythe must have the road back open to traffic in its final pattern by Aug. 18, before school resumes, according to the state. Additional work can continue with lane closures once the road opens.

These detours will be posted for drivers:

▪  Idlewild Road from Margaret Wallace Road: Traffic will be detoured from Idlewild Road to Margaret Wallace Road.

Drivers will turn right and follow Margaret Wallace Road to Sam Newell Road, turning left and following to U.S. 74 East. Drivers will take the ramp to the I-485 Outer Loop and follow to Idlewild Road, exit 49. A left turn will take drivers back toward the road closure, and a right turn will take them toward Hemby Bridge.

▪  Idlewild Road from Union County: Traffic will be detoured from Idlewild Road to the I-485 Outer Loop to Lawyers Road, exit 47.

Drivers will exit the interstate and turn left, following Lawyers Road toward Mint Hill. Crossing N.C. 51, drivers will turn left at Lebanon Road, then bear right to Margaret Wallace Road. Drivers can then turn left on Idlewild Road toward the road closure, or turn right toward Harris Boulevard.

▪  N.C. 51 from Mint Hill: Traveling south on N.C. 51, drivers will turn left on Lawyers Road, following to Interstate 485 and taking the exit to the Inner Loop toward Matthews. Drivers will exit to U.S. 74 West, exit 51A, and follow to N.C. 51. A left turn lets drivers continue south on N.C. 51 to Matthews, and a right turn will return traffic toward the road closure.

▪  N.C. 51 from East Independence Boulevard: Traveling north on N.C. 51, drivers will turn right to access U.S. 74 East, following to Interstate 485, taking the Outer Loop toward Mint Hill. Drivers will exit at Lawyers Road, exit 47. At the exit ramp, drivers will turn left, staying on Lawyers Road toward Mint Hill, following to N.C. 51. Drivers can turn right on N.C. 51 to reach I-485 or turn left back toward the road closure.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak