North Carolina Roads - I-485

Above: "Outer" replaced "South" as I-485 started to become a full beltway.

The eastern end of I-485 (Outer/NB) is a standard trumpet at I-85, unsigned Exit 31, with the obvious missing connection westward 8 miles to the other end. There's extra pavement left for adding beltway capacity, room for an exit number and tacked on "EXIT ONLY" panel, and grading for a future exit ramp to I-85 NB. "But wait, there's already an exit to I-85 NB." Yes, but it's right in the middle of where NCDOT needs to build a complete interchange with eight ramp movements and a continued I-485 freeway.

All the button copy that's left - in North Carolina? EB (Outer) and WB (Inner), respectively.

Once I-485 came all the way around the beltway, US 521 was truncated to the southern side at Exit 61 instead of making it anywhere near downtown Charlotte. So no, it doesn't go to the left anymore, and now that most of the beltway is complete, it would be appropriate to add some destinations and rearrange things. Especially when the signs still look like this more than four years after I first saw them from Lou.

The NB ramp to I-485 EB (Outer) has a stub on the left side for a future flyover to I-485 WB/Inner, and there's a receiving stub on the WB onramp as well. Maybe that's why the signs haven't been updated? Well, NCDOT, make some progress one way or the other.

I-485 Inner (WB) where the exit numbers reset - not at the parent I-85 - courtesy Lou Corsaro. Because I-485 is a beltway in progress, there are destinations missing from the left sign. I also know a US 521 shield is missing because that route used to come around the west side of the beltway until it was completed to the east of Charlotte. Otherwise, you tell me.

The combined ramp from I-485 as it almost scrapes South Carolina, technically the I-77/US 21 C-D road because there was a ramp from the mainline to get to Arrowood Rd., courtesy Lou Corsaro. I think "Arrowwood" looks better.

Exit 16 at NC 16 (yes, that happened) was the end of the road when Lou got there in April 2008. Lou has more construction photos on that page, linked below.

By March 2009, I-485 extended around to NC 115. Photos are courtesy Lou Corsaro, looking from southeast to northeast.

By my visit in October 2012, nothing had changed on the outer roadways, but the main freeway carriageways were constructed in the median, curiously out of asphalt instead of the concrete of the C-D roads currently serving as the mainline.

Heading southwest on I-485 Outer from there, first photo courtesy Lou Corsaro. Not much has changed here in four years, although the remaining piece of I-485 is soon to open (as of early 2013), and that will definitely make a difference. Outer traffic is on the C-D road through Exit 23 (both I-85 and NC 115), but there isn't one on the Inner side because only Outer has a pair of loop ramps that require a weave.

I-485 stub photos on NC 16
I-485 stub photos on NC 115

(Exit 31) to I-85
Exit 67 to I-77
Exit 67 to US 21
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