The northern section of the Interstate 77 Express has reached its one-month milestone. After years of construction and controversy over the toll lanes, a segment officially opened on June 1.
The currently open portion allows drivers the option to travel 15 miles of toll lanes between Hambright Road in Huntersville and Exit 36 in Mooresville. Currently those customers get a promotional rate of 25 percent off toll rates until the full road is open. Other portions remain under construction.
The group managing the lanes offered a snapshot of how the first month has looked.
A total of 182,000 unique vehicles have used the express lanes. How much travel in the lanes has this meant?
12,500 vehicles used the toll lanes every weekday.
500,000 total trips have been taken in the lanes.
40 percent of those users have a transponder.
How much has this cost those using the toll lanes? According to I-77 Express, for most users the monthly bill has been $3-5.
The group says that average speeds in the corridor during morning rush hour (6:30-9 a.m.) have increased by 18 percent and those in the afternoon (3-7 p.m.) have increased by 37 percent.
So where will they open next? And where does construction continue?
The crews are continuing to construct noise walls along the southbound portions of I-77 between exits 35 and 33 in Mooresville. The crews have also begun painting the walls in this section.
The final surface paving is also continuing in the northbound and southbound general purpose lanes between exits 36 and 31. This work is scheduled for overnight hours; when traffic is diverted from the regular travel lanes into the toll lanes there will be no charge for using those lanes.
The east and west approaches to the Hambright Road direct connector bridge are now open. Construction on the ramps linking the bridge to the toll lanes is ongoing, as well as grading and drainage work on both sides of the bridge.
Other work continues on the toll lanes south of Iredell County.
So where can motorists expect to find road closures for the remainder of this week?
On I-77 northbound:
Today, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. one lane will be closed between exits 19 and 23.
Friday from 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. two lanes will be closed between exits 25 and 28.
Today and Thursday between exits 31 and 35, one lane will be closed from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Friday and Saturday between exits 33 and 36, two lanes will be closed from 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.
On I-77 Southbound:
Today through Friday, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. one lane will be closed between exits 35 and 33.
Today and Thursday, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., two lanes will be closed between exits 30 and 25.
Saturday, from 10 p.m. to 9 a.m., two lanes will be closed between exits 28 and 23.
Today from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. the on-ramp at exit 28 will be closed.
Thursday from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., three lanes will be closed between exits 23 and 19.