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View Full Version : 81 Drivers..How bad is Charlotte, NC Fri. Rush Hour?


HeatherC
06-26-2010, 05:00 AM
Hi There!

Planning to drive the 81 to 77 route in a couple weeks from Massachusetts to Hilton Head. It is an 18 hour plus drive and I wanted to make a tentative reservation somewhere in NC in case we want to stop.

Since we are leaving Mass. at around 3am, that puts us near Charlotte around evening rush hour on a Friday. Wondering how bad it will be?

Should we stop in Mooresville, NC instead? Any other suggestions on places to stop?

Thanks so much!

HeatherC
06-28-2010, 07:00 AM
Anyone?

NJRRK
06-28-2010, 08:03 AM
I don't have personal experience of this, but seeing you're from MA, I can't imagine Columbia rush hour being anywhere near the intensity of Boston or Hartford or Providence. But I may be wrong.

Robert P
06-28-2010, 09:56 AM
Hi There!

Planning to drive the 81 to 77 route in a couple weeks from Massachusetts to Hilton Head. It is an 18 hour plus drive and I wanted to make a tentative reservation somewhere in NC in case we want to stop.

Since we are leaving Mass. at around 3am, that puts us near Charlotte around evening rush hour on a Friday. Wondering how bad it will be?

Should we stop in Mooresville, NC instead? Any other suggestions on places to stop?

Thanks so much!

Since you are traveling on a Friday, you'd probably be better off stopping at Mooresville (25 miles N of Charlotte). I usually suggest people push a few miles more and get past Charlotte, but since the next a.m. is a Saturday, the typical rush hour traffic isn't applicable. Also, I would not want to deal with the Friday Charlotte rush hour traffic after traveling that long earlier in the day.

If you made excellent time, and got past Charlotte, then another 10-15 minutes puts you in Rock Hill, SC. Lots of hotel options there.
FYI - SC gas will be the cheapest prices from Virginia South.

For comparison, I would say Charlotte rush hour is similar to Providence rush hour.

dis-happy
06-28-2010, 12:57 PM
Here's a great insider tip:

At the point where the 485 beltway (outer belt) intersects with the 77 (around exit 25, not sure of the exact number though), take it! It will bypass you around the worst part of the Clt. traffic and isn't all that much longer. When it again intersects with the 77, you'll get back on it (77) southbound. As soon as you cross over the SC border the I-77 expands to 4 lanes and moves quite well.

dis-happy
06-28-2010, 01:02 PM
PS. Not sure where you'll want to stop, but the drive time from the NC/SC border to HH is 4 hours. Since your last leg will have you arrive on island on a Sat. in summer, try to get as early a start as possible. There will be a lot (A LOT!) of traffic in general for your drive, but especially so as you head on island on the 278.


PPS. I know this info conflicts with the previous poster, but I've spent much of the past 15 yrs. driving from Clt. to HH (we live both places). Most of the summer rentals begin and end on a Saturdays and the traffic route you'll be taking reflects that. HTH

HeatherC
06-29-2010, 06:21 AM
Thank you all for the suggestions!!!!

Right now, I have a reservation in Mooresville and one just south of Charlotte. We can cancel up until 6pm at either of them so I guess we'll see how we feel and what time we reach the area.

Will definitely be on road early the next morning to get to the island before most of the traffic. Planning on hitting the road around 6am so hopefully, we'll be beat some of the rush.

Thanks again!! Very much appreciated!

dis-happy
06-29-2010, 08:35 AM
Thank you all for the suggestions!!!!

Right now, I have a reservation in Mooresville and one just south of Charlotte. We can cancel up until 6pm at either of them so I guess we'll see how we feel and what time we reach the area.

Will definitely be on road early the next morning to get to the island before most of the traffic. Planning on hitting the road around 6am so hopefully, we'll be beat some of the rush.

Thanks again!! Very much appreciated!

Sounds good. No need to kill yourself though, you'll be fine if you leave by 8 am. Also, if you stay in Mooresville, don't bother with the bypass route, as there won't be any city traffic on Sat. morning.