Poplar Tent Road to close; I-85 interchange opens Monday

State transportation officials will close Poplar Tent Road over Interstate 85 this weekend, to prepare for Monday morning’s opening of a new diverging diamond interchange.

The interchange is one of two being built as part of the $125.2 million project to widen I-85 and is among four under construction in the Charlotte area.

The other diverging diamond interchanges are at N.C. 73 and I-85 in Concord; at Catawba Avenue and I-77 in Cornelius; and at Mallard Creek Road and I-485 in northeast Charlotte.

The diverging diamond interchange, which takes traffic onto the opposite side of the road, reduces the number of traffic signals and turns at major intersections along interstate highways.

To prepare for Monday’s opening, set for 6 a.m., the N.C. Department of Transportation will make these changes on Poplar Tent Road this weekend:

• At 9 a.m. Friday, crews will partially close Poplar Tent Road. Motorists on northbound I-85 will be able to go westbound on Poplar Tent Road only until 7 p.m.

• At 7 p.m. Friday, the road will be closed over I-85. Only right turns will be permitted at the top of the ramps from I-85 northbound and southbound at Poplar Tent Road. Motorists are advised to use George Liles Parkway as an alternate route.

Motorists interested in learning how the diverging diamond interchange operates can check the DOT’s video on YouTube.