Motorists and anyone else in uptown Charlotte will find plenty of bus and pedestrian traffic Wednesday morning and early afternoon.
Today is the Charlotte Hornets’ annual Cool School Field Trip, which means about 16,000 middle school students from across the region will be at Time Warner Cable Arena to watch a Hornets’ preseason NBA game against the Detroit Pistons.
Most of the students will arrive by bus, which means dozens of school buses will be looking for places to park. The game is at 11 a.m., and officials said buses will begin arriving shortly after 9 a.m.
Heavy traffic is expected around the arena from 9-10:30 a.m., then again from 1:30-2:30 p.m.
On-street parking will be very limited within the perimeter of McDowell, Stonewall, College and Seventh streets. In addition, there will be thousands of school children crossing streets and walking to the arena.
Motorists should use caution and avoid the arena area if possible.
Morning Commute Traffic ... Congestion is the big problem for Charlotte-area motorists at 8:45 a.m. Wednesday.
Slow traffic is being reported on southbound I-77 near Lake Norman, on inbound Independence Boulevard, and on the inner loop of Interstate 485 in southern Mecklenburg County.
An earlier collision on the outer loop of I-485 near South Tryon Street has been cleared. A tractor-trailer was involved in that collision, which was reported before 7 a.m.
Here is the 8:45 a.m. update:
I-77 southbound, Lake Norman area ... Congestion; traffic moving 20-30 mph from Brawley School Road (Exit 35) down to Gilead Road (Exit 23).
Beatties Ford Road at Hildebrand Street ... Collision; moderate delays.
I-485 inner loop, south Mecklenburg ... Congestion; traffic moving 25-35 mph from Providence Road to I-77.
Independence Boulevard inbound ... Congestion; traffic moving 20-25 mph from Eastway Drive to uptown.
Harris Boulevard at Independence Boulevard ... Collision; moderate delays.
Johnston Road ... Congestion; traffic moving 15-25 mph northbound from the state line to I-485.
Providence Road inbound ... Congestion; traffic moving 20-25 mph from the Arboretum area to Wendover Road.
I-77 northbound, south Charlotte ... Congestion; traffic moving 25-35 mph from Carowinds Boulevard up to Clanton Road.
Billy Graham Parkway ... Congestion; traffic moving 20-25 mph between West Boulevard and I-85.
South Tryon Street at Shopton Road ... Collision; moderate delays.
Freedom Drive at Wesley Village Road ... Collision; minor delays.