Confusion at I-77 ramp closure

by: Mark Barber Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A major interstate ramp that thousands of drivers use to get to Interstate 77 and Interstate 85 is now closed for a year.

Crews shut down the ramp from LaSalle Street to the northbound lanes of I-77 to build new toll lanes.

Eyewitness News Reporter Mark Barber discovered that two problems in the construction zone were putting drivers at risk on Thursday.

Drivers were trying to turn onto the closed ramp because a traffic light had not been shut down, and a green arrow was directing drivers into the barriers for the ramp closure. 

Many drivers approached the ramp in traffic, with construction barrels placed in the work zone, but they don't realize the ramp was actually closed until they were ready to turn onto I-77.

There were also no signs warning drivers they needed to take a detour.

After Channel 9 asked transportation officials if they would make any changes to make drivers safer, they said they would send crews to fix the problem Friday afternoon.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation said the project will ultimately help drivers because they're also building a new ramp that will extend to I-85, so drivers won't have to merge onto I-77 first anymore. 

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