What is left of U.S. 521 travels just 3.9 miles from the South Carolina state line to a parclo interchange with Interstate 485. The highway was truncated southward in 2004 from Interstate 85 near Charlotte Douglas International Airport to the beltway at Exit 61. Prior to that, the route was relocated from Pineville onto a shared alignment with Interstate 485.


U.S. 521 north
Entering North Carolina and Mecklenburg County along U.S. 521 northbound. The northbound arterial gains heavy development as it approaches Interstate 485 and Charlotte. Photo taken 05/30/05.
Northbound U.S. 521 reassurance shield posted on the four-lane highway after the state line. Photo taken 05/30/05.
Constructed as a part of an $83.3-million contract to widen Interstate 485 from I-77 east to Rea Road, a new flyover was built from U.S. 521 north to I-485 west (inner loop).1 Work was underway by summer 2013 and the flyover completed by August 2014. The new ramp replaced a left turn for the Beltway west. Photo taken 08/11/14.
All traffic bound for Interstate 485 now departs in unison as U.S. 521 ends. Photo taken 08/11/14.
Traffic separates for Interstate 485 west to Pineville and Downtown Charlotte and east for Matthews and Concord. Photo taken 08/11/14.
The new flyover for I-485 west accommodates two lanes of traffic. Photo taken 08/11/14.
U.S. 521 north - archive
U.S. 521 expands to a six-lane arterial as it travels through the Ballantyne Corporate Park from John J. Delaney Drive northward. The eastbound on-ramp to Interstate 485 departed at the Ballantyne Corporate Place overpass. The ramp now carries all traffic to the beltway. Photo taken 05/30/05.
A ramp stub was built in anticipation of the 2014-completed flyover ramp from U.S. 521 north to Interstate 485 west. Interstate 485 east continues to Matthews and Mint Hill over the next 15 miles. Photo taken 05/30/05.
U.S. 521 travelers pass over the Charlotte beltway ahead of the former left turn onto Interstate 485 west. A stub also existed on the westbound on-ramp, which combines traffic from Johnston Road south ahead of the Beltway mainline. Photo taken 05/30/05.
When the flyover for Interstate 485 west opened, the left turn was eliminated from U.S. 521 north at its end. Interstate 485 bends northwest toward Pineville and Interstate 77 south of central Charlotte over the next six miles. Photo taken 05/30/05.
U.S. 521 south
Departing Interstate 485 via Exit 61 and turning southward onto the beginning of U.S. 521. This off-ramp once represented the brief split between the two highways. Before truncation, U.S. 521 shared pavement with Interstate 485 shortly after the road opened between Johnston Drive and South Boulevard. Photo taken 05/30/05.
The first southbound shield posted for U.S. 521 as drivers leave Interstate 485. Ballantyne Corporate Place passes over the six-lane arterial on the bridge above. Photo taken 05/30/05.
John J. Delaney Drive provides access to the sprawling campus of Ballantyne Corporate Park that surrounded the forthcoming crossroads of U.S. 521 and Ballantyne Commons Parkway. Photo taken 05/30/05.
U.S. 521 scenes
Heading south along Johnston Road toward the parclo interchange with Interstate 485. U.S. 521 begins at the junction. Photo taken 05/30/05.
Johnston Road south at the westbound on-ramp to Interstate 485 for Pineville. Photo taken 05/30/05.
2 photos
2 photos
A loop ramp carries drivers onto Interstate 485 east for Matthews and Mint Hill. U.S. 521 continues south from the intersection toward Lancaster, South Carolina. Photos taken 05/30/05.

Sources:

  1. "$83.3 Million Contract Awarded to Widen Section of I-485 in South Charlotte." NCDOT News Release, September 18, 2012.


Photo Credits:

    05/30/05 by AARoads. 08/11/14 by Jamie Dzencelowcz.

Page Updated 08-20-2014.