Closure of Idlewild-Independence intersection postponed

The closure of the Idlewild Road-Independence Boulevard intersection and opening of the new Conference Drive bridge has been postponed, according to N.C. Department of Transportation officials.

The changes were to have gone into effect late Sunday night, but the DOT said rain over the weekend prevented crews from finishing work on the new road alignment.

No new date has been set for the changes. However, crews were able last week to install traffic signals at the new Conference Drive-Idlewild Road intersection and at what will be the intersection of inbound Idlewild Road and Independence Boulevard.

When the Conference Drive bridge is opened, pedestrians will have a way to cross East Independence Boulevard safely, and motorists will regain access from Monroe Road near East Mecklenburg High School to the Idlewild-Independence area.

However, crews will close the current Idlewild-Independence intersection. That will prevent motorists on Idlewild Road from crossing Independence Boulevard, and there will be no way to turn from Independence Boulevard to the portion of Idlewild Road between Independence and Monroe Road.

The intersection closure will allow crews to build an Idlewild Road bridge overpass at East Independence Boulevard.

The changes are part of the project to convert Independence Boulevard to an expressway between Sharon Amity Road and Wallace Lane.