This project is to improve I-77 from I-277 / NC 16 (Brookshire Freeway) to I-85 in Charlotte. This will include widening the existing travel lanes and shoulders on the southbound lanes, but will not add additional lanes to I-77.
The Work Program, released in 2009, represents the department’s realistic plans for projects we expect to execute in the next five-year period. Project I-3311E was not identified in the 2010-2014 5-Year Work Program. Work on the 2011-2015 5-Year Work Program is currently underway.
News and Updates
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) continues to move forward with engineering design and environmental evaluation of the I-77 Improvements Project, shown on the Vicinity Map. A Categorical Exclusion is scheduled for completion in June 2011.
A newsletter was mailed in May 2010 which briefly described the project and announced the first Citizens Informational Workshop.
An informal Citizens Informational Workshop was held on Tuesday, May 25, 2010, at the Greenville Recreation Center. There was no formal presentation, but a copy of the workshop handout is available here.
Project Overview and Purpose
The purpose of this project is to widen the existing travel lanes and shoulders on the southbound lanes of I-77 back to Interstate standards and investigate truck roll-over issues on the I-85 to I-77 ramps.
In 2005, Project I-3311A widened I-77 from four lanes to eight lanes (plus connecting lanes between interchanges as appropriate) between I-85 and I-485. During the planning of Project I-3311A, NCDOT studied the impacts of designating two of those lanes as High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, one in each direction. NCDOT also proposed extending the southbound HOV lane from I-85 through the Brookshire Freeway interchange. From LaSalle Street to the Brookshire Freeway, the HOV lane was created by using existing pavement, which was obtained by reducing the inside shoulder width and narrowing the three general-purpose lanes. These design exceptions were approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) with the understanding that the lanes and shoulders would eventually be widened again. Impacts of adding HOV lanes were documented in the Categorical Exclusion for the I-77 High Occupancy Vehicle Facility (July 2002).
There are currently four travel lanes and an HOV lane on I-77 from south of I-85 to the I-77 / Brookshire Freeway interchange. From LaSalle Street to the I-77 / Brookshire Freeway interchange, the outermost travel lane is 12 feet wide, inside lanes are 11 feet wide, the outside shoulder is 10 feet wide, and the inside shoulder is 2 feet wide. This project proposes to widen the 11-foot lanes to 12-foot lanes on southbound I-77 and widen the inside and outside shoulders.
The following events have occurred or are scheduled on the I-77 Improvements Project:
- Citizens Informational Workshop – May 25, 2010
- Community Impact Assessment – September 2010
- Natural Resources Technical Report – September 2010
- Categorical Exclusion document – anticipated June 2011
- Right of Way – Fiscal Year 2014
- Construction – Fiscal Year 2016
Project I-3311E is the widening of existing travel lanes on southbound I-77 from 11 feet to 12 feet wide and widening of the inside and outside shoulders. Based on preliminary data collection, there are several environmental features within the study area. The roadway widening will be designed to minimize impacts to homes, businesses, and natural resources.
The proposed project will be funded by the state of North Carolina and the Federal Highway Administration. Therefore, NCDOT will comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). NEPA requires NCDOT to study both adverse and beneficial social, economic, and natural environmental impacts of the project and to present these impacts in an environmental document. For this project, a Categorical Exclusion will be prepared as the environmental documentation due to the relatively low amount of potential impacts anticipated.
The proposed study corridor passes through several natural resource areas. Kennedy Branch runs along the east side of (parallel to) I-77 from the northern terminus to its convergence with Irwin Creek, located near LaSalle Street. Irwin Creek runs parallel to I-77 from that point to Anita Stroud Park, where it crosses under I-77 and follows I-77 to the Brookshire Freeway. Two small areas of wetlands may be present in the north and east portions of the study area, according to the National Wetland Inventory. There are several properties along Andrill Terrace that are FEMA buyout properties and owned by Mecklenburg County.
Some areas of Double Oaks Park and Anita Stroud Park are located in the immediate project vicinity, and several other parks are located in the general area. Part of the Oaklawn Cemetery is located in the immediate project vicinity. Several schools and churches are located nearby, and the playground for Lincoln Heights Elementary School is near I-77. Homes on Dean Street are near the existing southbound I-77 facility. No impacts to the Oaklawn Cemetery, schools, or churches are anticipated.
Public Involvement is an important component of the I-77 Improvements Project, as it enables interested individuals and groups to participate in the planning process and keep up-to-date on overall project status. The NCDOT is committed to ensuring that citizens’ concerns are considered and addressed. Public involvement activities include:
- Newsletter describing project and upcoming activities.
- Citizens Informational Workshops. These provide the opportunity for the general public to discuss the project and its study findings with NCDOT and the project consultant. See the News and Updates Section above for information on future workshops or public informational meetings.
Small Group Meetings with community groups or organizations. These may be held in response to requests. NCDOT will meet with groups to address specific issues. The organization(s) sponsoring such meetings are responsible for arranging the meeting location and notifying participants. If interested in hosting a small group meeting, please contact Theresa Ellerby.
NCDOT Project Development and Environmental Analysis Branch
- Email: Contact Us
- Phone: (919) 707-6020
- Address: 1548 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1548
Consultant Project Manager, Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.
Resources for Local Property Owners
In many cases, it is inevitable that a certain amount of private property must be acquired. The displacement of homes and businesses is minimized to the extent practicable. The following brochures will answer questions about this process.