The state plans to make major changes to the often congested interchange of N.C. 42 and Interstate 40 in the Cleveland community.
The public can hear about and comment on the proposed improvements from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at West View Elementary School, 11755 Cleveland Road.
The Department of Transportation is considering three alternatives to the existing interchange, which is located near Cleveland Road.
“There is a lot of development taking place at that location, and there is a lot of congestion in that area,” said Jennifer Garifo, a DOT spokeswoman.
Both sides of the interchange are lined by restaurants, gas stations and retail stores. Business owners say traffic is worst during rush hour on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends, when drivers are traveling to and from the beach.
Each of the alternatives uses some form of a diverging-diamond interchange, a fairly new design that allows two directions of traffic to temporarily cross the left side of the road.
The DOT says the special interchanges allow drivers to make free-flowing left turns when getting on or off an interstate, eliminating turns against oncoming traffic and the number of traffic signals. Garifo said the DOT is building one diverging-diamond interchange in Charlotte and plans several others across the state.• Alternative one involves building a new interchange on N.C. 42 over I-40 and making other improvements at the intersection of N.C. 42 and Cleveland Road.
• Alternative two calls for a new interchange on Cornwallis Road over I-40, which is just east of the N.C. 42 and I-40 interchange.
• Alternative three involves building a new interchange on N.C. 42 over I-40, improvements at the intersection of N.C. 42 and Cleveland Road and a new interchange on Cleveland Road over I-40.
The DOT is about halfway finished with the design portion of the project, Garifo said. The purpose of the public meeting is to gather input about the proposals.
Once the DOT has chosen an alternative, the department will again seek public input for the final design phase.
For more information or to view maps of the alternatives, go to www.ncdot.gov/projects/publicmeetings and click on the N.C. 42 and I-40 project.