NCDOT Gives Property Owners Along I-77 Another Vote On Noise Walls

Nov 16, 2015

I-77 Mobility Partners plans to start construction Monday on the project to add high-occupancy toll lanes on I-77 between uptown Charlotte and the Lake Norman area. The project includes proposed noise walls along sections of the highway. WFAE’s Duncan McFadyen reports people who own property close to the walls will get another say in whether or not they’re built.

Rendering of noise wall on I-277 near 11th and Poplar Streets in the 4th Ward.
Credit NCDOT

It’s standard procedure for the NCDOT to suggest noise walls for road projects in areas with lots of development. It’s also standard procedure to let property owners vote on whether they want the walls. Back in 2013, people along I-77 got that chance. The DOT said all 22 proposed sections had been approved. But Charlotte City Council members weren’t happy when they found out two of those walls along I-277 would be 22 feet tall in places and would block views of the uptown skyline. They asked how the state polled property owners. It turned out that the DOT counted unreturned ballots as “yes” votes...and, for the I-277 walls, less than half of the ballots it mailed out came back. The DOT decided to send out another round of ballots. After an independent review of the vote, the state dropped plans for the walls. Now, the DOT plans to do the same for property owners along twenty other sections of the project...between West End near uptown and southern Iredell County. The DOT has also hired a company to verify people received the ballot and voted. The state will hold two meetings this week to discuss the noise walls.

The meetings will take place from 6-8 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Nov. 17 at the Metrolina Regional Transportation Management Center, 2327 Tipton Dr., Charlotte; and 
  • Nov. 19 at Assembly Room, Town Hall, 21445 Catawba Ave., Cornelius.
    Proposed noise walls along the I-77 HOT lanes project.
    Credit NCDOT