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I-77 Express P3 Project Design

Express lane corridor reduces congestion and boosts mobility along a bustling North Carolina highway.
  • Aerial view of express lane construction with downtown Charlotte, NC, in the distance. Photo by I-77 Express - Gannett Fleming.

    The project increases roadway capacity to keep travelers moving along I-77 in north Charlotte. Photo by I-77 Express.

  • Road construction combines existing lanes with a new lane - Gannett Fleming.

    Two existing HOV lanes and a new lane will be used to create the express corridor.

  • Closeup view of overhead gantry carrying tolling equipment - Gannett Fleming.

    Gantries are designed to allow equipment maintenance without the need for lane closures.

North Carolina Department of Transportation

Kapsch TrafficCom

Mecklenburg and Iredell Counties, North Carolina

Our Role
Design, Project Management.

26 miles
Construction Cost
$647 million
In progress
New Construction
  • Improved mobility for more than 180,000 travelers daily
  • 50% capacity increase on 26 miles of a busy interstate highway
  • Showcase for successful P3 infrastructure project delivery

To improve travel times on heavily used Interstate 77 between uptown Charlotte and Mooresville, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) undertook an ambitious highway expansion and conversion effort as part of a public-private partnership (P3). The I-77 Express project uses existing, underutilized high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes and a newly constructed lane to create a 26-mile-long express lane corridor.

The new corridor offers travelers a choice: pay a toll to use express lanes to avoid traffic delays or use general-purpose lanes for free. Once completed, the project will increase roadway capacity by 50%, to an average annual daily traffic count of 180,000 in the project area, reducing congestion and improving mobility. As engineer of record, Gannett Fleming is a major contributor to the design of the associated tolling and communications systems and intelligent transportation system (ITS).

What We Did

The system design features next-generation technology, including stereoscopic video vehicle detection and classification, and automated passenger detection systems to ensure accurate toll charges. Variable toll rate signs and dynamic message signs provide real-time information to drivers and improve operational efficiencies. Tolling will accommodate EZPass, SunPass, Peach Pass, NC Quick Pass, and 6C protocols, enhancing traveler convenience. Toll gantries are equipped with retractable device mounts that facilitate maintenance without the need for lane closures.

The P3 project showcases the successful collaboration between NCDOT and the I-77 Mobility Partners’ team of experts and consultants. Our firm is working hand in hand with Kapsch TrafficCom, as an extension of its design and project management team, to create an agile, turnkey ITS and tolling solution that will benefit millions of motorists in North Carolina.

Key Features

  • Leading-edge vehicle detection and classification and automated passenger identification systems ensure accurate toll charges.
  • Variable toll rate signs and dynamic message signs provide real-time toll and lane information to drivers.
  • Multiprotocol tolling system handles a variety of regional transponders, making travel more convenient.

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