DOT To Study Safety Amid Crashes Along I-77 Toll Project
Traffic safety experts will study crashes along I-77 north of Charlotte, where workers are building toll lanes. The state Department of Transportation also says it’s considering changes in the work zones, including lower speed limits.
In an announcement Wednesday, NCDOT also asked drivers to pay attention, keep cell phones turned off, and keep a safe distance from other cars.
“It takes engineering, enforcement and education to make a work zone safe, but the most important work zone safety feature is the driver behind the wheel,” DOT traffic engineer Kevin Lacy said in a press release.
"Crash data shows that the types of crashes reported have been less severe and less likely to result in serious injury or death. The most common types of crashes are rear-end collisions and sideswipes, which is typical for a work zone," the DOT said.
Private contractors are in the midst of adding toll lanes on 26 miles of the busy interstate from uptown Charlotte to Mooresville. The 650 million dollar project is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.
Critics of the toll-lane project have complained about what they say is a growing number of wrecks in the I-77 corridor, which they blame on the construction.
The speed limit along most of the highway north of Charlotte remains 65 mph.