I-77 widening imminent, expensive, difficult
Posted on 12 Apr 2008 by Justin Ruckman
“Widening Interstate 77 in south Charlotte, from uptown to I-485, would cost at least $1 billion — twice the price of building the 9.6-mile Lynx Blue Line. (…)
Almost every bridge over the expressway must be rebuilt if the road is widened. There isn’t much room for widening it, and when I-77 approaches uptown, there are steep drop-offs on both sides of the shoulder. The state may have to buy commercial land for right-of-way, driving up the price even higher.
Another hurdle is that I-77 is already the busiest stretch of highway in the state, carrying 160,000 cars a day. (…)
One possibility (…) would double-deck the road by building an elevated section in the median of four lanes.
The state and the city of Charlotte are also discussing expressways that would be good candidates for high-occupancy vehicle toll lanes, or HOT lanes. These lanes would be reserved for car-poolers and single drivers willing to pay to drive there.”
Read more by Steve Harrison at The Observer.