I-77 Mobility Partners

Fifteen miles of the I-77 Express Lanes opened Saturday between Huntersville and Mooresville.
David Boraks / WFAE

Toll lanes have been under construction for nearly four years on I-77 from Charlotte to the Lake Norman area. Over the weekend, the northern 15 miles of the project opened to traffic. Monday was the first weekday rush hour with the lanes. Some drivers took advantage of the faster commute, while toll lane opponents continued to fume about the whole idea. WFAE's "All Things Considered" host Gwendolyn Glenn talked about all this with WFAE reporter David Boraks, who has been covering the project since the planning stages.  

Barriers separate free lanes from toll lanes (left) on I-77 north of Charlotte. The northern section of the toll lanes is scheduled to open to traffic on Saturday, June 1.
David Boraks / WFAE

After nearly four years of construction, and months of delays, the northern section of the I-77 toll lanes near Charlotte is scheduled to open Saturday morning, June 1. Beginning at 10 a.m., the I-77 Express Lanes will be open in both directions, from Exit 36 in Mooresville to Hambright Road in Huntersville.

An aerial view of the I-77 Express Lanes construction near uptown Charlotte in October shows a new westbound ramp under construction from I-277 westbound to I-77 southbound.
I-77 Mobility Partners

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019
A newly constructed ramp from I-277 westbound to I-77 southbound near uptown opened Monday afternoon. The old ramp closed last September and since then drivers have had to detour by going north on the Brookshire Freeway.  

Construction on I-77 toll lanes near I-85 in April.
I-77 Mobility Partners

The contractor behind the I-77 toll lanes has pushed back the date for a portion of the project's opening.

I-77 Mobility Partners said the northern section of the toll lanes, near Hambright Road to Exit 36 in Mooresville, had been set to open by the end of 2018, but delays from weather and a more expansive project forced the company to adjust its open date. That section of toll lanes is now expected to open in the first quarter of 2019.

I-77 Mobility Partners leaders listened to speakers at a public hearing Thursday. From left: public affairs director Jean Leier, CEO Javier Tamargo and chief infrastructure officer David Hannon.
David Boraks / WFAE

A rush hour commute on all 26 miles of the toll lanes on I-77 from Charlotte to Mooresville will cost up to $6.55 one way when the lanes open later this year - and more later on. The project's contractor announced the rates at a public hearing in Huntersville last night, and hinted that some sections of the project may not open on schedule.

Tolls on the I-77 Express Lanes north of Charlotte will be fixed for the first six months, then fluctuate with traffic volumes after that. An NCDOT video shows what rate signboards will look like.
NCDOT

The contractor building toll lanes on Interstate 77 north of Charlotte will unveil initial toll rates and hear public comments at a meeting Thursday night in Huntersville.

I-77 MOBILITY PARTNERS

Updated Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018
State Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon told Lake Norman area leaders Wednesday that the Department of Transportation cannot buy out its contract with a private company building toll lanes on I-77 north of Charlotte. 

This former high-occupancy lane over I-85 on I-77 southbound will be widened to carry two toll lanes.
David Boraks / WFAE

State Transportation Secretary James Trogdon will be in Cornelius Wednesday afternoon to brief the NCDOT's Local Advisory Group on options for modifying the controversial I-77 toll lanes project. The visit comes three months after most local officials in the group backed their own proposal: Buy out the $650 million contract with the private company building the lanes and convert one toll lane to a free lane.

David Hannon of I-77 Mobility Partners points to ramp construction at the I-277 and I-77 interchange in Charlotte during a tour this week.
David Boraks / WFAE

Construction crews still have lots of work to do before toll lanes can open on I-77 from Charlotte to Mooresville. The question on commuters' minds is: Will they be ready as promised by the end of the year? 

I-77 MOBILITY PARTNERS

Updated 11:40 p.m.
North Carolina lawmakers will have to iron out their differences on how to pay for a buyout or changes to the NCDOT's controversial contract for toll lanes on I-77 near Charlotte. That's after the House late Thursday failed to concur on Senate changes to a House transportation bill. 

An aerial view shows toll lane construction on I-77 at I-277 near uptown Charlotte.
I-77 Mobility Partners


  Updated 4:03 p.m.
North Carolina lawmakers say they've come up with a way to pay for canceling or modifying NCDOT's contract with a private company building toll lanes on I-77 north of Charlotte. But NCDOT officials have warned there may be problems with the idea.

The NCDOT's I-77 Local Advisory Committee met Thursday in Cornelius.
David Boraks / WFAE

The private contractor building toll lanes on I-77 north of Charlotte says revising or ending its contract will cost a lot more than what's been discussed at an NCDOT advisory committee in recent months.  That warning came in letters from I-77 Mobility Partners to the DOT.  

NCDOT secretary Jim Trogdon listens to local officials' recommendations for revising the I-77 toll lane project Thursday at the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce in Cornelius.
David Boraks / WFAE

Opponents of North Carolina Department of Transportation's $650 million toll-lane project on I-77 from Charlotte to Lake Norman are lining up behind a possible compromise. It wouldn't completely eliminate tolls, but they hope it would ease the project's impact on the area. 

Toll opponents protested on the Exit 28 overpass in Cornelius Friday.
Shelley Rigger / WFAE

A citizens' group's legal fight to halt the I-77 toll lane project north of Charlotte is over. The state Supreme Court has dismissed a last-chance appeal of a suit filed in 2015. But a leader of the anti-toll group says he still hopes politicians will cancel the project.

I-77 exit 28 in Cornelius
David Boraks / WFAE

NCDOT says it's months away from a deciding whether to act on consultant’s report on whether to cancel, revise or keep a contract to build toll lanes on I-77 north of Charlotte. That’s leaving some wondering if the DOT will act before the toll lanes are finished next year.

An NCDOT traffic camera showed I-77 northbound at Mile 21 jammed around 2 p.m. on May 12 because of work on the damaged sign near Exit 31.
NCDOT

NCDOT has fined the lead contractor on the I-77 toll lanes project $412,500 for daytime lane closures after construction accident in Mooresville last month that caused a day-long traffic jam. The DOT notified I-77 Mobility Partners of the penalty in a letter Thursday.

An NCDOT traffic camera showed I-77 northbound at Mile 21 jammed around 2 p.m. on May 12 because of work on the damaged sign near Exit 31.
NCDOT

Updated 4:15 p.m.
A truck driver who struck an overhead sign while working on the I-77 widening project in Mooresville last week is facing charges after police found he did not have a valid license. The accident led to a day-long backup on the interstate and side roads in the Lake Norman area.

The NCDOT has fined the contractor building toll lanes on I-77 $1.36 million dollars for keeping lanes closed during morning rush hour Tuesday, in violation of the project contract.

Toll opponents protested on the Exit 28 overpass in Cornelius Friday.
Shelley Rigger / WFAE

Updated 2:21 p.m.
Opponents of toll lanes on I-77 from Charlotte to Mooresville have lost their appeal in a lawsuit that sought to halt the NCDOT project.  In a ruling this morning, the NC Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's dismissal of the suit brought by the anti-toll group Widen I-77.

The ramp onto I-77 north from LaSalle Street will close for about a year so it can be widened and extended.
David Boraks / WFAE

The LaSalle Street on-ramp to I-77 northbound will be closed for up to a year beginning Wednesday night. It's part of a project to add optional toll lanes from Charlotte to Mooresville. 

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