• $1.36M fine levied on I-77 toll lane contractor by NCDOT


    The company responsible for toll lane construction on Interstate 77 has been fined $1.36 million by the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

    NCDOT officials said that on Tuesday morning, Cintra failed to comply with lane closure restrictions when I-77 remained closed until after 8 a.m.

    [CLICK HERE to read the letter NCDOT sent to Cintra]

    Road barriers on I-77 northbound were not removed until 7:45 a.m. and ramp closures at Interstate 277 east and west were not opened until 8:05 a.m.

    The interstate was supposed to open at 5 a.m.

    It caused major problems during rush hour because drivers could not use I-77 north to get to I-85. They were forced to get off the interstate at the Brookshire Freeway.

    NCDOT officials said in a letter that they will withhold more than $1.3 million from its next payment to Cintra.

    On Thursday morning, I-77 Mobility Partners released the following statement:

    We regret the traffic issues caused by the extended lane closures on Tuesday morning. We regularly review procedures with our lead contractor so that they follow proper protocols.

    In a meeting Wednesday night, the group hired to review the I-77 toll lanes outlined options to potentially cancel the project.

    Mercator Advisors presented those options to Charlotte transportation leaders.

    One option would be to cancel the project and receive new financing for an alternative design. They also discussed getting rid of sections of toll lanes and offering drivers discounts.

    Mercator said it will consider the financial impact on the city as well as safety.

    Their final report, including costs, is expected in July.

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