Interstate 277 (North Carolina)

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Interstate 277 marker

Interstate 277
Route information
Maintained by NCDOT
Length: 4.41 mi[1][2] (7.10 km)
Existed: 1981 – present
Major junctions
Beltway around Center City, Charlotte
South end: I‑77 / US 21 / US 74
  US 74 (Independence Expy)
US 29 / NC 49 (Graham St)
North end: I‑77 / US 21 / NC 16
Location
Counties: Mecklenburg
Highway system
US 276 NC 279

Interstate 277 (I-277) is a auxiliary Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It serves as a 4.41 mi (7.10 km) partial loop around Charlotte center city.

Route description[edit]

I-277 is a four to eight-lane downtown beltway that surrounds Charlotte center city. Starting at exit 9 on I-77/US 21, it goes northeast, in concurrency with US 74, to Independence Freeway; from there it goes northwest, in concurrency with NC 16, back to I-77/US 21 (exit 11). I-277 is signed both north–south and with inner/outer directions.

I-277 is one of three ring roads serving the Charlotte area, the other two being Interstate 485 and Charlotte Route 4.

Alternate names[edit]

Though the highway is commonly known as "Interstate 277" or "I-277" throughout the state, the highway does have other known names it uses locally in areas.

History[edit]

The two freeway names were taken from former mayors of Charlotte, Stan Brookshire (1961–69) and John Belk (1969–77). The Brookshire was originally the Northwest Freeway (this name change took place in 1975), and the Belk is the newer stretch that was opened to traffic in two phases—the first in 1981 and the second in 1988. In addition, the Belk was the first section to be signed as I-277; the designation did not extend onto the Brookshire until 1987. John Belk's family is also the same one who founded the Belk department store chain. The two mayors are also the subjects of Brookshire & Belk: Businessmen in City Hall, a book written by Alex Coffin that highlights their accomplishments for Charlotte over the years. Most local residents, as well as traffic reports airing on local radio and television stations, use the names "Belk" and "Brookshire" when referring to I-277 rather than the highway number.[4]

I-277, as well as parts of I-77 and I-85, is notorious for being dark at night because its streetlights are not in working order.[5] There have been plans to replace the streetlights on this freeway, most of which have been in place since the early 1970s. A proposal to replace the streetlights with solar power was denied in 2007 because these lights weren't deemed bright enough (however, two solar-powered streetlights were operating on I-77 at the LaSalle Street exit until November 2007), so new electric-powered streetlights would have to be installed instead. A relighting project finally got underway in October 2008, which involved setting up new light towers at the Independence Boulevard and I-77 exits, as well as installating new lights and removing the old nonworking ones on the Brookshire portion of the interstate. This project was completed by the spring of 2009.[6] A similar project is currently being planned for the Belk portion of the interstate. In addition, highly reflective signs are being installed on the entire loop to give drivers better vision at night without the aid of additional lighting.

In April 2010, the new color-coded attraction guide signs were added along I-77 & I-277 to help visitors reach popular destinations, including: Bank of America Stadium, Time Warner Cable Arena, and the NASCAR Hall of Fame among others.

Exit list[edit]

I-277/US 74 directional signs at South Boulevard and Stonewall Street; Note the "North/South" and "Inner/Outer" banners being displayed concurrently
Typical overhead sign and mile marker along Brookshire Freeway

The entire route is in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County.

Mile[2] km Exit Destinations Notes
0.0 0.0 US 74 west (Wilkinson Boulevard) Continuation as US 74
0.0 0.0 1A To US 29 / NC 27 / Freedom Drive Southbound exit and northbound entrance
0.1 0.2 1B I‑77 south / US 21 south – Columbia
0.1 0.2 1C I‑77 north / US 21 north – Statesville
0.6 1.0 1D Carson Boulevard Northbound exit and entrance only
1.0 1.6 1E Northbound: College Street, South Boulevard, Caldwell Street
Southbound: Stonewall Street, Kenilworth Avenue, South Boulevard, Caldwell Street
1.9 3.1 2A NC 16 south (Third Street / Fourth Street) / Kenilworth Avenue South end of NC 16 overlap
2.7 4.3 2B US 74 east (Independence Expressway) to NC 27 east East end of US 74 overlap; semi-directional T interchange
3.2 5.1 3A Northbound: Twelfth Street, Davidson Street, Brevard Street, Tryon Street
Southbound: Brevard Street, Davidson Street, McDowell Street
3.6 5.8 3B Northbound: To US 29 to NC 49 (Graham Street) / Church Street
Southbound: Eleventh Street, Church Street, Tryon Street
3.8 6.1 4 US 29 / NC 49 (Graham Street) Southbound exit and northbound entrance
4.4 7.1 5A I‑77 north / US 21 north to I‑85 north – Statesville
4.4 7.1 5B I‑77 south / US 21 south – Columbia Northbound left exit
4.4 7.1 NC 16 north (Brookshire Freeway) to I‑85 south Continuation as NC 16
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing