Conference Drive bridge opening delayed

The N.C. Department of Transportation said the opening of the new Conference Drive bridge and the closing of the Idlewild Road-Independence Boulevard intersection has been postponed for two days.

The traffic shift will now take place sometime Sunday night, rather than Friday night, according to the DOT.

When the Conference Drive bridge over Independence Boulevard is opened, it will restore a connection to Monroe Road that was suspended when the old Conference Drive-Independence Boulevard intersection was closed a year ago. That closure – and the new bridge – are part of the project to convert Independence Boulevard to an expressway between Sharon Amity Road and Wallace Lane.

With the new bridge, Conference Drive will connect with Idlewild Road, rather than Independence.

When the bridge is opened, traffic engineers also will close the Idlewild Road intersection at Independence Boulevard. Motorists trying to get from Idlewild Road to Monroe Road will have to turn left on Conference Drive and follow that road to Monroe Road, near East Mecklenburg High School.

There also will be a new connector road from Idlewild Road to Independence Boulevard.