The new diverging diamond interchange at Interstate 77’s Exit 28 in Lake Norman is almost complete, and the final touch is about to give the area a new regional landmark. The town of Cornelius is now hoisting massive steel cables 42 feet into the air to resemble boat sails soaring above I-77.
Catawba and West Catawba avenues are considered by many to be ‘Lake Norman’s main st.’, and the hope with the new monument will be to draw even more people off the highway and into local shops and restaurants. They are hoping that it will solidify the image of an upscale lake community and premier boating destination.
Blythe Construction of Charlotte plans to raise the cables and complete the $6.2 million diverging diamond project at the beginning of the new year. The construction crews will be closing down the street for the entire day when the complete the raising of the towers and cables.
Diverging diamond intersections allow for two directions of traffic to cross to the left side of the road while on the bridge. Once there, vehicles can turn left onto interstate ramps without stopping and without conflicting with through-traffic, making the interchanges far safer and less clogged.
Other diverging diamond intersections now planned for the Charlotte area include Poplar Tent Road and N.C. 73 on I-85 in Cabarrus County, and I-485 at Mallard Creek Road in northern Mecklenburg County.