Crash Data on I-77 Toll Lane Construction Zone

CHARLOTTE, NC — Drivers say the controversial Interstate-77 toll lane construction is dangerous.

One of the latest crashes happened Monday afternoon, adding to the traffic jam at the I-77 toll lane construction zone.

“After 3:00, definitely avoid it. And I would say, pretty much all day Friday is a bad experience,” said Joe Lyles.

Turns out, driver concerns about an increase in wrecks due to the construction are not wrong.

“People just need to be more careful,” said another driver, Nick Kendall.

Crashes increased 38 percent in the work zone during the first year of construction, from November of 2015 until November of 2016.

That’s 1,559 wrecks compared to approximately 1,150 wrecks per year before the project.

That’s according to North Carolina Department of Transportation.

“Any work zone across the state, it’s not uncommon to see an increase because you have a change in the way the road looks,” said NCDOT Spokesperson Jen Thompson. “Add to that the congestion of just more people here.”

NCDOT says 80 percent of the wrecks before and after the roadwork were rear ends and sideswipes.

The Traffic Safety Unit says it monitors the data for any trouble spots construction crews need to rearrange.

“So, we have the challenge of trying to maintain traffic and also keep a safe area for our workers,” said Thompson.

People on Twitter sent WCCB Charlotte concerns. One driver snapped a photo of a crash, calling the work zone a “death trap”.
Another wrote, “always accidents on 77 here in LKN.”

Some drivers say they’re okay with toughing out the growing pains.

“I think we’re fortunately and blessed to be living somewhere where there is actually growth,” said Lyles.

The toll lane construction is expected to last through late 2018.
Below is a timeline of construction changes you can expect:
5/9/2016 – 5/31/2016: Concrete barrier placement on Northbound I-77 from approximately mile marker 28.2 to mile marker 37.1
5/31/2016 – 6/9/2016: Concrete barrier placement on Southbound I-77 from approximately mile marker 34.1 to mile marker 37.1
6/9/2016 – 8/4/2016: Concrete barrier placement on Southbound I-77 from approximately mile marker 32.2 to 28.3 , Refresh pavement markings on Southbound I-77 from approximately mile marker 28.2 to 21, Temporary lane closures on Northbound and Southbound lanes from approximately mile marker 35 to 37 (night operation only), Temporary lane closure of Northbound I-77 from approximately mile marker 20 to 23 (night operation only)
8/4/2016 – 8/26/2016: Resurface failed pavement sections on Northbound and Southbound lanes from mile marker 10 to 29.6 (this work is scheduled to be completed by 10/29/2016)
8/26/2016 – 11/15/2016: Concrete barrier placement on I-77 Southbound outside shoulder from approximately mile marker 11.4 to 11 (10/4/16)
Concrete barrier placement on I-77 Southbound outside shoulder from approximately mile marker 11.4 to 10.8 (10/5/16)
Concrete barrier placement on I-77 Southbound inside shoulder from approximately mile marker 11 to 10.6 (10/5/16 -10/6/16)
Concrete barrier placement on I-277 Westbound to I-77 Southbound ramp inside shoulder (10/6/16)
Concrete barrier placement on I-77 Southbound inside shoulder from approximately mile marker 11.4 to 11 (under Oaklawn Bridge) (11/6/16)
Concrete barrier placement on Statesville Ave to I-85 Southbound ramp outside shoulder (11/14/16)
I-85 Southbound to I-77 Northbound ramp outside shoulder (11/14/16)
I-85 Northbound to I-77 Northbound ramp outside shoulder (11/15/16)