Cintra wants extension on I-77 toll lane project already months behind schedule

Cintra requests I-77 construction extension, faces fines if not done by end of month

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — The company building the Interstate 77 toll lanes project has requested more time to finish it, Channel 9 has learned.

A spokesperson for the North Carolina Department of Transportation said the department has not decided whether the extension request will be granted. As of now, the project has to be wrapped up by Oct. 31.

Come Nov. 1, if the entire project isn't open, Cintra will be fined $10,000 a day.

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The entire project was supposed to have been open by now. The state originally called for the toll lanes to be finished by Jan. 7 of this year, but officials said work was added to the contract extending the completion date.

Cintra promised it would be done this summer, but it missed its self-imposed deadline.

Michelle Ferlauto tracks I-77 safety issues with the Lake Norman Regional Safety Partnership and said the state should not allow Cintra off the hook if it can't finish the project in time.

"When are we going to get to the point that the state stands up and has some spine on this and says: 'OK enough is enough. Either finish it or you're going to pay,'" Ferlauto said.

In a statement, Cintra said the company continues to be in close contact with NCDOT and its construction partners. A spokesperson for Cintra said it is working toward a "fall opening."