Friday, April 11, 2014

NCDOT Announces Public-Private Partnership Project to Improve I-77 Traffic Flow in Charlotte Area

The N.C. Department of Transportation announces the apparent successful bidder for its first Public-Private-Partnership (P3) contract to improve the traffic flow along 26 miles of I-77 in the Charlotte area, one of the most congested roadways in the state.

P3 contracts are an innovative way of leveraging new funding sources to lessen the financial impact to the state and help complete projects sooner through investments by a private firm.  Following a required bidding process, and pending final review, it appears Cintra Infraestructures, S.A. will construct the I-77 project through a joint venture with F.A. Southeast, W.C. English, and the lead design firm of The Louis Berger Group.

Cintra, a world-wide leader in managed lanes projects, estimates the total project cost at $655 million. Cintra will invest the majority of that in return for toll revenue generated from the managed lanes. NCDOT will contribute $88 million for the project, which is significantly less than the $170 million it had projected.

The agreement is expected to be signed in June, with construction beginning as early as this December. The project is expected to be complete in 2018.

“We are excited to take this significant step forward and address a critical need,” said NCDOT Chief Engineer Mike Holder. “Innovative funding solutions like this one are vital to keep up with growth and infrastructure needed to strengthen the economy despite declining transportation revenue from traditional sources.”

About Managed Lanes
Managed lanes give drivers a choice to pay a toll to avoid waiting in traffic, while helping ease congestion on the free, general-purpose lanes for other drivers. The proposed I-77 project includes converting the current High-Occupancy-Vehicle (HOV) lanes, which already exist along I-77, and adding capacity to the roadway. The existing HOV lanes and new lanes will be High-Occupancy managed lanes that allow free use for eligible carpoolers (three passengers or greater), buses, and motorcyclists, while allowing other drivers to pay a toll to use those lanes. Tolls will vary to control the number of vehicles in the High-Occupancy lanes and help ensure free-flowing traffic even during morning and evening rush hours. The price would be higher during peak periods when demand is greater, and lower during less congested periods. Drivers can still use free, general-purpose lanes to avoid paying a toll. This project will not remove or add any general-purpose lanes. A number of other states including Virginia, Florida, Texas, Colorado and California are already using managed lanes.

Project Details
The project will add capacity to I-77 between Brookshire Freeway (Exit 11) in Charlotte and N.C. 150 (Exit 36) in Iredell County. This portion of the I-77 corridor already experiences significant congestion and projections show a 2-to-3 percent increase in traffic volume is expected every year through 2030.

Improvements will also include a flyover bridge to provide the managed lanes direct access from I-77 to I-277, and the widening of southbound I-77 lanes in some areas. The added lanes will increase capacity through the corridor, improve travel time reliability, improve air quality and better manage traffic flow along I-77.

has more than four decades of experience as a private developer of transportation projects around the world. Its current projects include locations in Texas, Indiana and Illinois, as well as in Canada, Spain, The United Kingdom, Portugal, Ireland and Australia.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Workshop Set for Wednesday

The N.C. Department of Transportation and the Town of Huntersville will host a public meeting and workshop on Wednesday, Feb. 27, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. about a proposal to widen I-77 north of Charlotte by adding High Occupancy TollLanes, or HOT lanes.

NCDOT representatives, including Chief Operating Officer Jim Trogdon, will be available to answer questions from the public about the proposal. Questions regarding the type of project, the financing plan and the construction process, etc. are welcome.

The public meeting will be held in the Huntersville Town Hall Board Room, 101 Huntersville-Concord Road. Attendees will be able to park at the Town Hall, or in the Town Center parking garage.

View Larger Map

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Fix I-77 Now!

The need seems clear; the importance of a safe, smoothly running I-77 to the region’s economy is beyond dispute. The question is the best way to do it. Between I-277 in Uptown Charlotte and Mooresville, we think HOT lanes may be the answer, but there is still a lot of work to do before the final decision is made and the lanes are constructed.

We want you to be well-informed about the importance of the I-77 HOT lane project in the Charlotte are. This blog is one of the ways NCDOT intends to keep you up to date on its progress.

In the coming days, you’ll find news updates, a project timeline and other useful information posted here.  This is also where you can find information on the project decision process and access related documents and maps.

Like the project itself, this site is a work in progress.  We intend to provide as much information as possible, from these early stages through the opening of the new lanes.

Most importantly, though, this site will be the place where you can ask questions and express your concerns about any aspect of the I-77 HOT lane improvements.  We want Fix77Now to be a two-way forum, so please feel free to leave posts in the comment sections.

Check back often, and let us know how we are doing and what you’d like to see on these pages!

And be sure to like NCDOT's Facebook page to keep up with NCDOT news.