Skip to main content

Without TIGER II funding, I-77 HOT lanes in jeopardy

NCDOT's plan to convert the existing I-77 High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes to High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes and extend them suffered a major setback earlier this month when the Federal Highway Administration did not award any TIGER II grant money for the project.

NCDOT had asked for a maximum of $30 million in grant money for the project.  2,500 applications were made for the $400 million in grant money.  Only 42 projects were awarded grant money.

The project would convert the existing I-77 HOV lanes to toll lanes and extended the single restricted lane northwards to Davidson (Exit 30).  The toll lanes would work similarly to HOV lanes as vehicles with two or more passengers, buses, and vanpools would be able to access the lanes for free.  Vehicles with one passenger would have to pay a toll.

The project is slated to be completed by 2014.

As a result of not receiving the funding NCDOT will have to come up with another plan to convert and extended the restricted lanes.  The currently under construction Yadkin River bridge replacement and widening project received less than expected TIGER funds last winter, and NCDOT was able to adjust funding schedules to start that project.  Something that local Charlotte leaders hope will also occur for the HOT lane project.

The state has not announced a timetable on when they will source the additional funding for the $50 million project.  Currently, the project has been granted $5 million in federal CMAQ (Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement) funding.

Story links:
I-77 HOT lanes lose funding ---Charlotte Observer

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Relief Route That Wasn't: The Never Built I-70 Bypass in the Mid-Mon Valley

In June 1963, a small blurb in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette read that The Westmoreland Engineering Company was awarded a $24,060 bid to study the proposed construction of Interstate 70 in Westmoreland and Washington Counties.  The study was to see what the construction and right-of-way costs "...to modernize the existing highway to Interstate requirements within eight months." (1)  This small, non-attributed, three paragraph article came less than a decade after the completion of a four lane highway that linked the Mid-Mon Valley to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. This would be the start of a 15 year process to upgrade and improve Interstate 70 - a process that ultimately never produced a single foot of new highway.

This is the story, albeit brief, of the I-70 that never came about.

Background:
What is now known as Interstate70 from Washington to New Stanton began as a connecting highway for the region to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Known as the "Express Highway", construct…

A look at Pittsburgh's Saw Mill Run Boulevard

Saw Mill Run Boulevard - Pennsylvania State Route 51 - runs through the narrow Saw Mill Run Valley.  It begins at the intersection of Clairton Road and Provost Road at the City of Pittsburgh Line with Brentwood.  It ends at the West End Circle at the entrance to the West End Bridge.  A four lane highway for its the entire length, Saw Mill Run Boulevard consists of interchanges at the South Portal of the Liberty Tubes and with the Parkway West.  It is an expressway from the Parkway to the West End Circle (West End Bypass).  One of the most well known traffic tie-ups in the Pittsburgh area occurs between Maytide Street and PA 88 (Library Road) which is simply known as 'Maytide and 88.'

History:
Saw Mill Run Boulevard was part of the 1928 Allegheny County 'City Beautiful' bond issue.  The bonds resulted in the creation of Saw Mill Run, Ohio River, Allegheny River and Mosside Boulevards. (1)   After the completion of the Liberty Tunnels in 1924, Downtown Pittsburgh was offic…

The Many Failed Plans of Pittsburgh's Wabash Bridge and Tunnel

The December 27, 2004 opening of the Wabash Tunnel ended over 70 years of proposals and speculation for the use of the over 100 year old facility.  The tunnel, which is now a reversible roadway that is an alternative route for rush hour traffic, saw many failed plans during the 20th Century.  These plans included options for mass transit, converted and new bridges for vehicles, and other forms of transportation.

Brief History:
Constructed in 1902-04, the Wabash Bridge and Tunnel was planned and financed by rail mogul, Jay Gould.  Gould began his "Battle of the Wabash" with the established railroads of the city in 1890.  He would finally emerge victorious, but during that struggle, Gould would see many setbacks that would eventually result in the railroad's bankruptcy in 1908.  On October 19, 1903, when the two ends of the bridge were to be joined together over the Monongahela River, the 109' bridge collapsed; killing ten men.  Construction would resume four days later …