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The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), in partnership with the Mecklenburg-Union Metropolitan Planning Organization (MUMPO) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), invites you to attend a Public Information Workshop about the proposed conversion of existing High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes to High Occupancy/Toll (HOT) lanes on I-77 in Mecklenburg County.


The project includes converting existing I-77 HOV lanes to HOT lanes and extending them northward to Exit 28 along with potentially adding a second HOT lane in each direction.  The project limits are I-77 from I-277 (Brookshire Freeway) to West Catawba Avenue (Exit 28).  All improvements would occur within the existing right of way.

WORKSHOP PURPOSE AND NEED
This workshop is being held to inform the community of the proposed introduction of HOT lanes along portions of I-77. Project maps and information will be displayed at the workshop, and agency and consultant staff will be there to discuss the project and answer your questions. NCDOT wants to hear your thoughts about this project. The workshop is an open house format and will not include a formal presentation, so we encourage you to drop by any time to ask questions and provide comments.

PROJECT PURPOSE AND NEED
The portion of the I-77 corridor between I-277 (Brookshire Freeway) in Charlotte and north to Exit 28 (Catawba Avenue) is increasingly experiencing travel volumes that exceed the capacity of the facility. As a result, daily commuters experience congestion, which will worsen if no improvements are made to the corridor. However, improvements to the corridor face physical, environmental, and financial constraints. In response to these constraints, the NCDOT, MUMPO, and FHWA are considering alternative funding options such as tolling to address congestion in the corridor.

WHAT ARE HOT LANES?
High Occupancy/Toll (HOT) lanes are limited-access managed lanes that allow free use for eligible carpoolers, transit riders, and motorcyclists while allowing previously ineligible non-HOV drivers to buy back into the lane for a 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 lanes at no cost. The project will not remove any existing general purpose lanes.

PROJECT STATUS
The project development, preliminary engineering, and environmental studies (including noise, air, and water quality studies) for the project are being conducted in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other applicable laws and regulations. A tolling analysis is also being conducted for the project to determine demand and toll ranges. The final environmental document is scheduled to be completed in June 2012.

For questions or comments about the project, please contact:

Carl Gibilaro, P.E. (Consultant Project Manager)
ATKINS
5200 Seventy-Seven Center Drive, Suite 500
Charlotte, NC 28217
Phone: 704-522-7275
Email: carl.gibilaro@atkinsglobal.com

Virginia Mabry (NCDOT Project Manager)
NCDOT Transportation Program Mgmt.
1595 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1595
Phone: 919-707-6604
Email: vmabry@ncdot.gov

* In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), NCDOT will provide auxiliary aids and services for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in the workshop. To receive special services, please contact Mr. Carl Gibilaro at 704-522-7275 by May 4th to provide adequate notice so that arrangements can be made.


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