Today’s traffic: Race, holiday travel adding to traffic mix

Travelers should expect a double traffic whammy and allow more time on Charlotte area interstates and roads beginning on Friday.

Not only does the Memorial Day weekend kick in, but races at Charlotte Motor Speedway could prompt extremely heavy delays northeast of Charlotte throughout the weekend, the N.C. Department of Transportation warned.

Roads expected to be clogged near the speedway include Interstates 77, 85 and 485, U.S. 29 and N.C. 49.

Expect the heaviest congestion in that area from early Saturday until early Monday.

Memorial Day weekend delays are expected to continue through Tuesday, officials said.

At 1:30 p.m. Friday, traffic was creeping along at least two hours earlier than usual on I-77 North in Huntersville, U.S. 74 East between Charlotte and Pineville, U.S. 521 South south of Charlotte, I-485 Outer Loop near Pineville and I-77 South toward the S.C. line.

Motorists, meanwhile, should be alert to these closures and other road conditions next week:

The transformer will travel to the site via railroad and is expected to arrive between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Traffic on N.C. 73 at Cowans Ford Dam and Killian Farm Road will be blocked for about 15 minutes. The 800,000-pound transformer will be installed in 2015.

Use Old Steele Creek Road and West Boulevard as a detour.

Access to homes residences will be maintained, and CATS service will be unaffected.

Use Sugar Creek Road as a detour. To travel between The Plaza and North Tryon Street, use Matheson Avenue as an alternate route.

Local access will be maintained to businesses and parking facilities. CATS service will be affected.

The closure is needed to tie in Shadow Pond Lane to the new Rea Road alignment.

Detour using Cotton Creek Drive, Truscott Road, Benbridge Lane and Macandrew Drive.

Local access to residences is being maintained, and CATS service is unaffected.

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