Interstate 77 interchange, lanes to close temporarily through September. What we know

To aid bridgework, all southbound lanes will temporarily close each night on a stretch of Interstate 77 in the Lake Norman area starting Thursday, Sept. 7, officials said.

Closures could last through the month, as crews transform outdated Gilead Road exit 23 in Huntersville into a diverging-diamond layout, according to a state Department of Transportation news release on Friday.

Such layouts have been shown to curtail bottlenecks and wrecks, including just to the north at I-77 Cornelius exit 28, The Charlotte Observer previously reported.

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

U.S. 21 will be widened from two to four lanes on either side of Gilead Road.

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 southbound lanes, including the toll or “express” lanes, just past the exit from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sept. 7, 8 and 9.

The closures will make it safer for workers to install girders for the new bridge, officials said.

Drivers will be detoured from I-77 South to exit 23, and then across Gilead Road to the I-77 South entrance ramp.

Police will direct traffic on Gilead Road.