I-77 tolls

The new CATS commuter buses are more comfortable
CATS

Thousands of drivers a day have been using toll lanes on I-77 for speedier commutes since the first 15-mile section opened in June in the Lake Norman area. But it may be a while before commuter buses are taking advantage of the lanes. 

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

Drivers took a half-million trips on the I-77 Express toll lanes north of Charlotte in June, the first month they were open. But you didn't need to pay a toll to get a faster ride. 

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.

State Rep. Chaz Beasley talks to reporters in Cornelius Monday about a bill he and other lawmakers are poposing to remove what they say are "roadblocks" to renegotiating the I-77 toll lanes contract.
David Boraks / WFAE

State lawmakers from the Charlotte area have filed a bill they say would remove legal "roadblocks" to re-negotiating the contract for toll lanes on Interstate 77.

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.

The state of North Carolina is still trying to modify the contract it signed four years ago with a Spanish company to add toll lanes to I-77 from north Charlotte to Mooresville. State officials met last week without coming up with any solutions. Meanwhile, the construction drags on and traffic backs up. WFAE’s Tommy Tomlinson says the whole deal was based on a flawed premise.

Workers build concrete barriers along I-77 north of Charlotte, as part of the I-77 Express Lanes project.
I-77 Mobility Partners

State legislation to fund a possible buyout or changes to the North Carolina Department of Transportation's I-77 toll lane project near Charlotte has died. That's according to state Sen. Jeff Tarte (R-Cornelius), who wrote a key amendment to provide the funding.  

Construction on the I-77 toll lanes and related projects like this bridge is continuing.
I-77 Mobility Partners

A state auditor's report out Tuesday has found nothing improper about the North Carolina Department of Transportation's nearly $650 million contract with a private company to build toll lanes on I-77, or in the way the contract was awarded. 

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.

Workers installed beams in late April for a new bridge over I-77 near LaSalle Street near uptown Charlotte.
I-77 Mobility Partners

Two state transportation policy changes — affecting light rail projects and the I-77 toll lanes — could become law as part of the state budget that passed the legislature Friday.  

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.  

Workers installed beams in late April for a new bridge over I-77 near LaSalle Street near uptown Charlotte.
I-77 Mobility Partners

An advisory group that's helping the North Carolina Department of Transportation review the $650 million toll-lane project on I-77 will meet again Thursday afternoon to offer final recommendations.  Some members want to cancel the deal, but it could come at a steep price. 

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

Updated 10:03 a.m.
After years of construction and court battles, tolls are coming to the Charlotte area later this year in two big highway projects — the 20-mile Monroe Expressway in Union County and the 26-mile Express Lanes project on Interstate 77 north of Charlotte. There’s a difference of opinion in the two areas about tolls.

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.

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.

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