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The I-485 and I-85 are heavily traveled routes that provide access to and from Charlotte.

Passing Daily Vehicles
Square feet of habitat preserved for endangered sunflower species
Awards for Excellence


The project consisted of the design and construction of the interchange of I-85 and I-485 (Charlotte Outer Eastern Loop). The interchange reconfiguration was needed to alleviate congestion in a highly traveled area with 120,000 vehicles passing through each day.

The widening of I-85 and I-485 was also needed to accommodate the new interchange configuration and to match the improvements taking place in the adjacent projects.

Technical Highlights

The existing I-485/I-85 Interchange was modified to a turbine interchange that uses smaller, single-span bridges, smaller columns and flatter roadway profiles. Lane proposed the two-level “turbine” Interchange for this project as it allowed for a significant reduction of earthwork and eliminated the need to haul material from off-site, drastically reducing construction cost by more than $30 million. The reduction in hauling also reduces wear on existing infrastructure and the project’s impact on traffic congestion, improving safety for the traveling public.

The first of its kind in North Carolina, and uncommon in the United States, the turbine interchange design circles all high-speed ramp traffic around central mainline bridges in a counter clockwise direction, creating a seamless movement between the two highways. It also requires fewer levels and has smaller bridges with smaller columns.


  • 2012 Roads and Bridges Magazine’s Best of 2012
  • 2013 North Carolina Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers Outstanding Project Award
  • 2015 National Award of Excellence – Design-Build Institute of America
  • 2015 Excellence in Design Engineering – Design-Build Institute of America
  • 2015 Design Build National Award of Merit – Design-Build Institute of America
  • 2015 ENR Southeast Best Project – Highways/Bridges
  • 2015 American Council of Engineering Companies (NC Chapter) – Engineering Excellence Award