Drivers Concerned About “Disappearing Lanes” in I-77 Toll Lane Construction Zone
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. – Drivers are facing confusion in the I-77 toll lane construction zone.
“It’s just really dangerous when you can’t find the road and you don’t know what’s going on,” says Brian Bryant.
Bryant says he narrowly avoided a crash driving on I-77 South near Gilead Road on Sunday night.
Video shared online shows the white pavement markers dividing the two lanes suddenly disappearing.
“There’s no reflectors. There’s no paint markers in the road showing exactly what’s happening. It almost appears like it’s coming down to one lane,” Bryant explains.
NCDOT says temporary markings made with tape placed Friday night came loose on Saturday morning. Crews couldn’t fix it until Sunday night because of wet roads.
“It’s kinda become a comedy of errors every week, of something new,” says Michelle Ferlauto with the Lake Norman Transportation Safety Partnership.
Ferlauto heads up the group, which is focused on improving safety in the toll lane zone.
She says drivers have been dealing with uneven pavement, confusing lane shifts and “ghost lanes.”
“Where there’s still a lane partially visible, and they’re not sure which lane to use,” Ferlauto explains.
She and others are pushing for lower speed limits, clearer markings and signage.
“You know, what’s it gonna take? Does somebody have to die in a fiery crash with a piece of equipment because the lane wasn’t marked? Or can we, can we not do something before something like that happens,” Ferlauto asks.
Drivers like Bryant are ready for the already-delayed project to wrap up.
“You’ve got this construction with barriers on both sides and the road continuously shifting, and it’s frustrating for a lot of people,” Bryant says.
The toll lane project was expected to be finished by now. It’s now scheduled to open this summer. I-77 Mobility Partners blames design changes.