Exit 23 on I-77 toll lane construction
David Boraks / WFAE

The debate over optional toll lanes on I-77 from Charlotte to Mooresville has played out in court, in local elections, and at the Statehouse over the past few years. Now, the lanes are taking shape.

Traffic on I-77 near Lake Norman
David Boraks / WFAE

A bill calling on NCDOT to cancel a contract to build toll lanes on I-77 north of Charlotte has died in the state Senate.

Updated Thursday, 4 p.m. 

The state House of Representatives on Thursday approved a bill calling on NCDOT to cancel the I-77 widening project north of Charlotte. The bill now goes to the Senate, where Senate leaders have said they don't see a need to cancel the project.

Gov. Pat McCrory and the DOT have said they're committed to the $650 million contract with I-77 Mobility Partners, a subsidiary of Spain-based Cintra. The company started grading and other work last November.

Traffic on I-77 near Lake Norman
David Boraks / WFAE

Opponents of toll lanes on I-77 said Friday they’ll appeal the January dismissal of their lawsuit that tried to stop the NCDOT project.

Mark Hames / Charlotte Observer

The battle over toll lanes on I-77 north of Charlotte has taken another twist.  State officials say they’ll re-assess the toll-lane plan for after a sister company of the NCDOT’s contractor filed bankruptcy in Texas. 

NCDOT Secretary Nick Tennyson said last night he will go to Texas Monday to meet with transportation officials there to find out more about the bankruptcy. Gov. Pat McCrory's office announced the move in a statement Wednesday night, attributed to Tennyson: 

David Boraks /

Local officials  are discussing how to save the Lake Norman Transportation Commission, after three of the four member towns voted to withdraw.

Mooresville, Davidson, Cornelius and Huntersville founded the commission eight years ago to lobby for transportation improvements in the rapidly growing Lake Norman area. Davidson Mayor John Woods says it has worked:

nick tennyson
David Boraks / WFAE

North Carolina’s transportation secretary says he’s willing to renegotiate parts of the DOT’s contract with a private company to add toll lanes on I-77 from Charlotte to Mooresville. Nick Tennyson made the offer in a letter last week to local leaders on the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization, which sets transportation policy for the region.

Huntersville town commissioners have voted to drop out of a regional transportation group originally set up to give the Lake Norman area more clout on road and transit projects. It’s another sign of discontent over the NCDOT’s plan for toll lanes on I-77.

David Boraks / WFAE

Regional leaders Wednesday night reaffirmed a policy of using toll lanes to expand highways in the Charlotte area. The vote by the Charlotte Regional transportation Planning Organization effectively clears the way for tolls on I-77, and for work on expansion of the highway to begin in earnest.

Tom Bullock / WFAE

It was a crucial vote about one of the region’s most congested roadways. The Charlotte City Council voted twice Monday night to support toll lanes around the region. And specifically the project on I-77 North now under construction. That vote was 7 to 4. This despite many council members accusing State officials of issuing financial threats if they didn’t approve the project.