I-77 TOLL LANES: How Much Time Can You Save? We Put it to the Test.

CORNELIUS, N.C. – We’re putting the new I-77 toll lanes to the test. How much time can you save on your commute?

“I was on the highway earlier today and I was really excited because there was barely any traffic, and it seemed like people were using the toll lanes,” says Cornelius resident Amy King.

King is one of the few people we found in the Lake Norman area willing to admit she’ll use the toll lanes.

“If I really did need to get into Uptown, I would 100 percent use the lanes,” King says.

The northern portion of the project opened Saturday with no ribbon cutting and little fanfare.

Drivers can take the lanes from Hambright Road in Huntersville to Exit 36 in Mooresville.

We put the lanes to the test during rush hour on Monday afternoon. We put one car on the toll lanes and the other on the free lanes at 5:14 pm.

On the toll lanes, we reached Cornelius at 5:20 pm, Davidson at 5:22 pm, and Mooresville at 5:27 pm.

On the free lanes, we reached Cornelius at 5:24, Davidson at 5:28, and Mooresville at 5:36.

A difference of nine minutes.

Members of the group Widen I-77 have spoken out for years saying the state signed a bad contract with Spanish-firm Cintra.

It prevents additional free lanes from being built for 50 years.

“I think they should be free. They need an extra lane and I think it should be free,” says Huntersville resident Shirley Carson.

She still doesn’t like the tolls.

“I think eventually it will be free cause they’ll realize they’re making a mistake,” Carson says.