Politics & Government

DOT to make safety improvements in I-77 construction zone

I-77 toll lane construction ramps up near uptown

Construction is underway way near near uptown between the I-85/I-77 and I-277-Brookshire Freeway/I-77 interchanges all part of the I-77 toll lanes project.
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Construction is underway way near near uptown between the I-85/I-77 and I-277-Brookshire Freeway/I-77 interchanges all part of the I-77 toll lanes project.

The N.C. Department of Transportation said Friday it will make several small changes in the Interstate 77 construction zone to improve safety, but it won’t lower the speed limit.

State traffic engineers recently drove the 26-mile work zone after there were an unusually large number of crashes on the highway.

Many of the changes involve having more and better signs designating the area as a construction zone.

The DOT plans to add construction signs at the on-ramps of major interchanges, including I-277, I-85 and I-485. It also plans to install “Work Zone” plaques on all speed limit signs.

The state also said it will rework a lane shift on southbound lanes between I-85 and LaSalle Street. The DOT plans to cover all existing lane markings to prevent “ghosting,” where old lane markers are visible to drivers. After that, the DOT plans to have the contractor, I-77 Mobility Partners, put solid lane markings in the area.

The DOT also said it would install raised pavement markings throughout the work zone.

The speed limit today is 55 mph from uptown, where the construction begins, to the Cindy Lane overpass, which is north of I-85. The speed limit is 65 mph north of Cindy Lane.

The DOT said if the speed limit is lowered further, it anticipated more people would complain about the lower speed limit.

Steve Harrison: 704-358-5160, @Sharrison_Obs

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