Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman’s Elephant in the Room; The “T” Word!

Elephant in the Room

Let’s face it, Lake Norman’s popularity and growth is a double-edged sword. On the one hand we celebrate the opening of our Whole Foods, Publix, myriad micro-breweries and restaurants, hotels, sports facilities, big box stores and so many businesses that are moving in to our greater Lake Norman Charlotte area.  At the same time, you can’t avoid the one big issue that comes hand-in-hand with these perks: TRAFFIC.  

I had two different buyers from California in town this past week and we  couldn’t avoid the crazy traffic on I-77 that seems to get clogged at any hour of the day for no obvious reason or Hwy 150’s on again off again stop and go traffic.  I find more and more when I am working with out-of-state buyers the need to share the pros and cons of  a property’s location based not just on their amenities but also their commute times, proximity to shopping and recreation and what traffic issues they will need to consider.  For example, having to turn left out of their neighborhood on to a busy street like NC 150 and the need to use NC 150 to get to markets, shopping and I-77.  Or commute times based on the erratic nature of I-77’s bottlenecks from Exit 18 north to Exit 36 until planned additional lanes are added.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation has just released a draft of their 10-year road plan.  The good news is that our Lake Norman area is getting more funding than originally planned. (Clearly a sign of the traffic issues we have).  But, having lived through the 3-year Brawley School Road widening I can tell you that there can be a lot of pain before the gain kicks in.  So, as buyers new to Lake Norman relocate, you need to be aware of not just current traffic issues but upcoming construction that might impact your lives for a finite period of time.

Want to learn more?  Check out this article from NC150 and NC 73 widening projects score high; some oppose ranking system.  Or, this one on: on  about the NCDOT 10 year plan.  The widening of I-77 gets a lot of attention.  Battle rages over I-77 widening at Lake Norman  shares some great insight into the pros and cons being debated.

My husband and I have been here since 2005 and we love it!  Yes, we have more traffic today but we also have so many restaurants, markets and shopping options that didn’t exist when we moved here.  Sure, living down Brawley School Road during the widening was a major headache.  But we survived just fine and now we have awesome bike lanes in addition to  plenty of lanes to accommodate all of our cars.  And, we have found ways to avoid congested hot spots like NC 150 entirely. If you are relocating to beautiful Lake Norman, just make sure you add learning about the traffic to your list when searching for a home.  I promise you will love it here too!


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