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Alternatives to Route 77 south through Charlotte

Franklin, PA
Level Contributor
36 posts
9 reviews
9 helpful votes
Alternatives to Route 77 south through Charlotte

My husband and I thought we were smart heading south to Florida on a Saturday to avoid traffic in Charlotte. We came through yesterday (a Saturday) around 4 and it was a disaster because of the construction. It was bumper to bumper traveling at over 70 mph with most drivers changing lanes constantly. On previous trips we spent the night in Cornelius, which just puts off the agony until the next morning; This time we decided to drive through to Rock Hill. I have tried to talk my husband into going over to Winston-Salem and heading south from there to I95. It would add another hour to our trip, but I am thinking it might be less stressful. Anyone have another suggestion? Does it pay to take the route around, I think it is 485? I am not sure the construction will be done anytime soon and since we travel this route twice a year, we need to find another way.

Huntersville, North...
Destination Expert
for Huntersville
Level Contributor
603 posts
100 reviews
26 helpful votes
1. Re: Alternatives to Route 77 south through Charlotte

I live right in the middle of it in Huntersville and it is a nightmare. The weekends can be hit or miss and id say the earlier you go the better off you would be. If you can get through the traffic ok from Mooresville down through Huntersville to the 485 split id probably just stay on 77 through charlotte. If traffic is heavy then id take 485. As far as cutting over through Winston Salem, I would assume you are meaning taking I-73-74 at Mt Airy? I would think that would add well more than an hour to the trip, if you take it all the way to 95. Sadly there just isnt a good way around this traffic and I dont think its going to be much better when its done supposedly later in the year.

Chapel Hill, North...
Level Contributor
10,419 posts
39 reviews
15 helpful votes
2. Re: Alternatives to Route 77 south through Charlotte

I'm not in Charlotte so maybe adnmamclt can advise, but playing around on google maps it looks like another alternative might be to come down 77 to Statesville and then take 40 over to Hickory then take 321 down to Gastonia and then come back in to Charlotte from the west on 85 until you can pick up 485 and take that south to 77. I don't know if that's viable or not, but it looks like it might be.

Franklin, PA
Level Contributor
36 posts
9 reviews
9 helpful votes
3. Re: Alternatives to Route 77 south through Charlotte

When I do a mapquest search going in to High Point and then down 73 to 95 it is one hour extra. Have you ever driven that? I wonder if we would be trading one problem for another. We had no problems when we left at 9:30 this am so the secret may be to get to Cornelius Saturday, spend the night, and then continue on Sunday morning. Thus avoiding coming though Charlotte later in the day.. I vote for the auto-train, but can't convince my husband. Thanks for your input

Level Contributor
1,730 posts
154 reviews
87 helpful votes
4. Re: Alternatives to Route 77 south through Charlotte

I live in Winston-Salem and we drive to Florida at least once a year, sometimes twice. First, let me say that I do not like MapQuest, at all. We never, ever use that. First, I don't know why if you're putting in Winston, why MapQuest would route you to High Point to 95. That makes no sense at all. You do not want to do this route!! You would be adding way more than 1 hour to your route. You do not want to drive across NC to get to 95. You need to be driving south/southeast to get to it and pick it up in SC.

If you want to drive through Winston to 95, you would need to drive 52 South, which turns into 85 South, then pick 77 South back up, then I-26 East, then pick up 95 in SC, not NC.

Let me add, that depending on the time of day, you will encounter construction mess on 85 South before you get to Charlotte. Our daughter attends college in Charlotte and we make this trip quite often. We have sat in that mess for as much as 1 hour and that's in the late am hours on Saturdays.

I would 2nd Pancho's recommendation on that route. Driving to Winston and down 52 and 85 really doesn't make sense just to avoid 77.

Raleigh, North...
Level Contributor
1,540 posts
24 reviews
16 helpful votes
5. Re: Alternatives to Route 77 south through Charlotte

You could take 220 around Greensboro all the way to I-20 on into Columbia, then pick up I-77 or stay on I-20 to I-26 which will take you to I-95 below Orangeburg. 220, which might also be 73 is pretty good and I-20 and I-26 move pretty fast. I would advise against taking 321 to Columbia. Better to take I-85 to I-26 in Spartanburg and on to 95.

Brookneal, Virginia
Level Contributor
1,807 posts
99 reviews
70 helpful votes
6. Re: Alternatives to Route 77 south through Charlotte

Google maps from Franklin, PA to FL with a via point in Asheboro, NC, drops you down to 95 in SC avoiding all that mess...

Like this:


7. Re: Alternatives to Route 77 south through Charlotte

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