A series of wrecks around midday Thursday has been cleared, but slow traffic remains on several major routes at 1:30 p.m.
A multi-vehicle collision on U.S. 321 near High Shoals in northern Gaston County closed one lane of traffic for about an hour. That wreck, which took place around noon, caused backups that stretched several miles.
The N.C. Department of Transportation said shortly before 1:30 p.m. that the wreck had been cleared and all lanes were open.
Delays were still being reported at the scene of another midday crash – on northbound Interstate 85 near the I-485 interchange. A dump truck overturned around noon, and DOT officials said it could be 4:30 p.m. before all lanes are reopened.
Meanwhile, heavy traffic at the start of a long holiday weekend was causing slowdowns on outbound East Independence Boulevard in Union County and on northbound Interstate 77 in northern Mecklenburg County.
Average travel speeds on Independence Boulevard were 10 mph between I-485 and Monroe.
Motorists were averaging only 20 to 25 mph on northbound I-77 from I-485 to Lake Norman.
This congestion and the slow speeds are likely to continue for the rest of the afternoon and into the evening.