• I-77 tolls contractor fined for utility line incident

    By: Joe Bruno

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The North Carolina Department of Transportation is penalizing the contractor for the I-77 toll lanes, again, which brings the total for fines to at least more than $6 million.

    The latest fine stems from an incident last month. A concrete truck working on the I-77 toll lanes project knocked down a utility line. The line struck three cars and lunchtime traffic was backed up for miles. NCDOT is fining Sugar Creek Construction $800,000 in liquidated damages because of the incident.

    This is not the first penalty related to the I-77 toll lanes project. Last year, NCDOT issued a $3.2 million fine after a dump truck drove into a bridge with its bed up.

    Last year, a Channel 9 investigation revealed more than $5.3 million in fines have been issued related to the I-77 project, including the $800,000 penalty.

    The total amount of fines is now at least $6,142,500.

    [9 Investigates: I-77 toll lane reported issues increased by hundreds since 2015]

    The investigation also revealed that while the Monroe Expressway received more penalties, the fines for the I-77 tolls project were much higher.

    NCDOT can assess liquidated damages when the contract is breached. For example, if the road doesn't open at the correct times, penalties can be assessed at a rate of $10,000 per hour.

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