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I-77 northbound lanes to close temporarily for construction. What we know.

As part of construction meant to reduce wrecks and chronic congestion, all northbound lanes will temporarily close on three nights on a stretch of Interstate 77 in the Lake Norman area, officials said.

The lanes will be closed overnight Saturday, Sept. 16, and Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 19 and 20, near exit 23 for Gilead Road in Huntersville, according to an N.C. Department of Transportation news release.

That includes the toll or “express” lanes, officials said.

The state is converting the interchange into a diverging-diamond layout, which NCDOT says has reduced wrecks and bottlenecks at other interchanges, including I-77 exit 28 in Cornelius.

The $30.8 million project includes a new bridge to handle eastbound traffic over I-77, with the existing bridge serving westbound drivers, NCDOT officials said.

The exit leads to downtown Huntersville to the east and to Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center, The Park-Huntersville and numerous restaurants and other retailers to the west.

Crews will close all I-77 northbound lanes from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. on the three nights.

The closures will allow workers to safely install girders for the new bridge being built beside Gilead Road, officials said.

Drivers will be detoured from I-77 North to exit 23, continuing across Gilead Road to the entrance ramp back to I-77 North.

The project also includes widening a stretch of U.S. 21 from two to four lanes on either side of Gilead Road. The widening will accommodate a new, safer U.S. 21 intersection, officials said.