I-77 Express P3 Project Design


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.


  • 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.


North Carolina Department of Transportation


Mecklenburg and Iredell Counties, N.C.


Design, Project Management

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