I-85/485 Turbine Interchange

Part of the I‐485 Outer Loop and I‐85 widening projects, the improvements convert the existing I‐85/485 interchange in northeast Charlotte to a “turbine interchange,” a new concept and design first for North Carolina. NCDOT originally planned to build a traditional multi‐level interchange at this location, but the innovative design saved an estimated $50 million on the total cost of the project and did not require any additional right of way.
The turbine design features smaller, single‐span bridges with smaller columns and flatter roadway profiles. This innovative design circles all left‐turning traffic around a central bridge in a counterclockwise direction, improving sight distances for motorists and allowing a safer transition between the two interstates at highway speeds. Roads and Bridges magazine named the turbine interchange the #1 project on its 2012 Top 10 Roads list, and the project was the inaugural recipient of NCSITE’s Outstanding Project Award in 2013.