Ever since construction started on the I-77 toll lanes between Charlotte and Mooresville, there has been a steady increase in accidents in both the north and south bound lanes.
According to the NCDOT, the number of crashes between Exit 23 and Exit 36 is up up 7.8% between January-October 2016 (compared with the same time period in 2015). There were a total of 619 accidents, up from 574 in 2015.
Based on the pictures and reports on social media I’ve been finding after October of 2016, my guess is that number has exponentially increased
Here are just a few of the accidents that have occurred near the toll road construction on I-77 since October 2016:
Jan. 21st, 2017 via Huntersville Fire Dept.
Jan. 14th, 2017 via John R McAlpine V Mac*
January 13th, 2017 via Morgan Feldon*
Same accident via Huntersville Fire Dept.
Dec. 17th, 2017 via Garry Stanley
Nov. 21st, 2017 via WBTV
It may not be a surprise that accidents have increased since the toll roads started in Nov. 2015 (since they narrowed the lanes and eliminated the shoulders), but many are surprised that the numbers continue to rise.
It may be due to the steady increase in development in Charlotte and around Lake Norman, as more and more people continue to try to cram onto the two-lane highway.
Another problem that many Lake Norman city leaders have noted is the lack of posted ‘construction zone speed limits’. Since the toll road construction started, the DOT and Cintra’s I77 Mobility Partners had the option to designate it a work zone, which would have decreased the maximum speed and increase penalties for breaking the speed limit.
But Cintra and the NCDOT have decided to only briefly implement work-zone speed limits during full lane closures or shifts – outside of that, the normal speed limit of 65 still remains.
What do you think about the toll lane construction?
How do you think more accidents could be prevented?