Charlotte’s Beltway grew by several miles in mid-December 2006 with the opening of Interstate 485 between Interstate 85 and North Carolina 27 (Mt. Holly Road). The segment is the first to open north of Interstate 85.

Steve Delery sends us the following photos covering the newest section of Interstate 485 from early April 2007:

Interstate 485 northbound continues through the interchange with Interstate 85. Until December 15, 2006, all traffic was forced to use the ramps to the right.

The first interchange along Interstate 485 north of Interstate 85 is the diamond with Moores Chapel Road. Exit 12 features roundabouts at the off-ramp ends in place of signalized intersections, a concept used along Interstate 70 at West Vail and Avon, Colorado.

Interstate 485 passes over the CSX Transportation Railroad and enters the interchange with North Carolina 27 (Exit 14). Barrels shunt drivers onto the single lane off-rmap to Mt. Holly Road. Mt. Holly Road carries North Carolina 27 west from Charlotte into Mt. Holly a city in eastern Gaston County.

A lot of headway on the construction of Interstate 485 beyond the Exit 14 gore point is already made.

The southbound beginning of Interstate 485 at the CSX Transportation Railroad overpass south of Exit 14 (North Carolina 27). Interstate 485 main line shields north of Interstate 85 feature “Future” banners.

Overall Interstate 485 will travel 67 miles around North Carolina’s largest city. All of the loop is open south of Interstate 85 as of November 2004, and construction continues on the freeway between North Carolina 27 and Interstate 77. Ground has yet to be broken on the final segment between Interstate 77 and 85 to the northeast, but officials are hopeful for an opening between 2012 and 2013.