I-74, Eastchester interchange project to reduce traffic

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- High Point police say a driver making an unsafe lane change caused a seven-car accident near the Eastchester exit on I-74 Friday morning, backing up traffic in the westbound lanes ahead of the interchange.

Some drivers we spoke with say even without an accident that area is often congested, particularly the bridge on Eastchester.

"You got to wait and wait and wait; sometimes I wait as long as 10 minutes before I can make a left-hand turn,” said Larry Carr, who drives down Eastchester two to three times a week.

Patty Eason, a construction engineer with North Carolina Department of Transportation, recognizes the issue and says that after talking about this for years the DOT has come up with an approximately $20 million solution for drivers getting on and off the interstate.

“We are going to construct a loop so there is going to be no more left turn movement for folks being able to access I-74,” Eason said.

When complete, cars won’t be turning left on the bridge, but turning right and going around, looping to get on the interstate.

The plan also helps drivers getting off the interstate because they’ll be spending less time at the traffic light waiting for the cars to turn.

There’s also going to be more lanes getting off and a wider bridge.

“It will operate a whole lot more efficiently, reducing a lot of congestion a lot of back up,” Eason said.

The Department of Transportation is planning to start the interchange construction project in June 2018. Eason says it will likely take a year and a half to two years to complete.

Right now, DOT is still working to acquire all the land they need for the project, make sure the utilities in the area are relocated and finalize the design for the project.