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NOTICE OF PRE-HEARING OPEN HOUSES AND COMBINED PUBLIC HEARINGS FOR THE PROPOSED CONVERSION OF HIGH OCCUPANCY/TOLL (HOT) LANES ON I-77 AND I-277 IN MECKLENBURG AND IREDELL COUNTIES

TIP Project Nos. I-3311C, I-5405, & I-4750AA Mecklenburg & Iredell Counties

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), proposes to improve 25 miles of I-77 from I-277 (Brookshire Freeway) [Exit 9] in Mecklenburg County to N.C. 150 [Exit 36] in Iredell County by the introduction of High Occupancy/Toll (HOT) lanes.  I-77 serves traffic demands and travel patterns for commuters (single-occupant vehicles, carpools, and transit) and other travelers within and outside of the project study area, and is a vital route for regional commerce.  Currently, heavy traffic occurs during peak periods within the project limits, resulting in frequent congestion and delays.

High Occupancy/Toll (HOT) lanes are managed lanes that allow free use for eligible carpoolers, transit riders, and motorcyclists while allowing drivers back into the HOT lane for a fee. Vehicles meeting HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) requirements (three passengers or greater, i.e. HOV3+) will be permitted to use the HOT lanes free of charge. Non-HOV vehicles choosing to use the lanes would be assessed a variable fee. The number of cars using these lanes can be controlled by varying the fee to encourage free-flowing traffic in the HOT lanes at all times, even during rush hour (i.e. morning and evening). The price would be higher during peak periods when demand is greater and lower during less congested times. If a motorist does not want to pay the toll, they can still use the general purpose or existing non-HOT lanes at no cost. The project will not remove any existing general purpose lanes.

The purpose of the proposed project is to provide immediate travel time reliability along I-77 from Uptown Charlotte to the Lake Norman Area.  This portion of the I-77 corridor currently experiences congestion and future traffic forecasts/projections show the congestion worsening if no improvements are implemented. Improvements to the corridor face physical, environmental, and financial constraints requiring innovative solutions.

NCDOT will hold two (2) Pre-Hearing Open Houses and Combined Public Hearings for the above mentioned highway projects at the following times and locations:

 Wednesday, July 17, 2013:
Charles Mack Citizen Center
215  N. Main St, Mooresville
Pre-Meeting Open House: 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Formal Presentation: 7 p.m.
Thursday, July 18, 2013:
Lincoln Heights Academy
1900 Newcastle Street, Charlotte
Pre-Meeting Open House: 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Formal Presentation: 7 p.m.

NCDOT representatives will be available at the Pre-Hearing Open Houses to answer questions and receive comments regarding the proposed projects. The opportunity to submit written comments and questions will be provided. Interested citizens may attend at any time during the above hours.

The formal presentations will consist of an explanation of the proposed location, design, economic study, right of way and relocation requirements and procedures. Citizens will have the opportunity to comment or ask questions. The presentation and comments will be recorded and a transcript will be prepared.

A map showing the location & design and a copy of the approved environmental document (Environmental Assessment) are available for public review at the Mecklenburg-Union Metropolitan Planning Organization, 600 E. Fourth St., 8th Floor, Charlotte and at the Town of Huntersville – Transportation Department, 105 Gilead Rd., 3rd Floor, Huntersville. Copies of the maps are also available on the project website at: http://www.ncdot.gov/projects/publicmeetings/.

Anyone desiring additional information may contact Jamille Robbins, NCDOT-Human Environment Section at 1598 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1598, by phone at (919) 707-6085, or via email at jarobbins@ncdot.gov. Additional material may be submitted until August 1, 2013.

NCDOT will provide auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act for disabled persons who want to participate in these meetings. Anyone requiring special services should contact Robbins as early as possible so that arrangements can be made.

Persons who speak Spanish and do not speak English, or have a limited ability to read, speak or understand English, may receive interpretive services upon request prior to the meeting by calling 1-800-481-6494.
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