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$1.3 million cost expected to I-77 contractor for rush hour Charlotte lane closures

The failure to end lane closures on the I-77 project north of Charlotte for a few hours on May 16 will prove costly for the highway contractor, the Associated Press reports based on local media.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NDOT) has told the builders that the state will withhold about $1.3 million from the next payment. The overall project has an estimated cost of $650 to $800 million. (The project is being built under a public-private partnership arrangement, with the private partner, I-77 Mobility Partners, to earn revenue from tolls once the highway expansion is completed.)

Transportation officials say I-77 Mobility Partners failed to end lane closures on I-77 North until 7:45 a.m. Tuesday. Ramps on I-277 east and west were not opened until 8:05 a.m.

In both cases, the lanes were supposed to reopen at 5 a.m., AP reported.

“We regret the traffic issues caused by the extended lane closures on Tuesday morning,” I-77 Mobility Partners said in a statement. “We regularly review procedures with our lead contractor so that they follow proper protocols.”

The contractor actually building the highway, Sugar Creek Construction, LLC is a joint venture between FA Southeast and English Construction.

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