Dr. Traffic

New airport exit signs coming soon on I-85

A view from atop the new hourly deck and Consolidated Rental Car Facility at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport as airplanes land and prepare to take off, on  May 4, 2015. The completion of the parking facility marks the completion of CLT 2015, a multi-year development campaign at the airport.
A view from atop the new hourly deck and Consolidated Rental Car Facility at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport as airplanes land and prepare to take off, on May 4, 2015. The completion of the parking facility marks the completion of CLT 2015, a multi-year development campaign at the airport. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

When you’re headed to the airport on Interstate 85, temporary signs direct you to exit at Little Rock Road, while others direct you to use Billy Graham Parkway.

Take Little Rock. It’s a shorter drive to the terminal and parking – and more scenic now that a new entrance road and other upgrades are complete at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

The temporary signs along the side of the road that direct airport traffic to exit at Little Rock will be replaced in the months ahead. More prominent notice will be added to the permanent overhead Little Rock exit sign.

Drivers still can reach the airport from the Billy Graham Parkway exit, but the airport markings will come off once they are added at Little Rock. You also can get to the airport from Wilkinson Boulevard.

No word yet on exactly when the signs will be updated by N.C. Department of Transportation, says spokeswoman Jordan-Ashley Baker.

“Right now, we don’t have a time frame for the installation of the signs,” she said.

Lee Davis, a spokeswoman for the airport, said the signs should go up later this year. The city will pay about $176,000 for the signs.

Construction on the main entrance and exit roads began in August 2012. The airport has built 3 miles of road to improve traffic flow and safety. The road project wrapped up in April with completion of the Josh Birmingham Parkway realignment project.

As part of the $24 million realignment, the new roadway connects the Little Rock Road exit on I-85 to North Josh Birmingham Parkway.

Drivers now have direct access to the terminal, airport parking lots and decks from I-85 and Wilkinson Boulevard. New exit lanes allow motorists more options to major thoroughfares.

Drivers can bear left onto North Josh Birmingham Parkway to access Wilkinson Boulevard, I-85, I-485 and uptown Charlotte. They can bear right on Josh Birmingham to access Interstate 77 and I-85.

Streets close for Blue Line Extension

New detours are in place for construction of the Lynx Blue Line Extension light rail line.

▪ Raleigh Street is closed until Sept. 30 between Greensboro Street and Sugar Creek Road near the NoDa neighborhood in northeast Charlotte. A detour is set up along North Davidson Street to East Craighead Road to North Tryon Street.

▪ Twelfth Street will be closed until Sept. 11 between the intersections of North Brevard Street and North College Street in uptown. Follow the detour along North Brevard Street to Seventh Street to North College Street.

Once completed, the Blue Line Extension project will extend light rail service from uptown to UNC Charlotte. The north line is expected to open in 2017. The south line carries passengers from uptown to I-485.

Karen Sullivan: kmsulliv@charlotteobserver.com, 704-358-5532, @Sullivan_kms

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