CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - On Thursday, the North Carolina Department of Transportation penalized I-77 Mobility Partners nearly $415,000 for lane closures that violated the contract in May.
An overhead sign near mile marker 32 was hit by a contract hauler who was performing work on the project May 18, the NCDOT states. A left lane closure was then put in place around 3 a.m.
When the NCDOT arrived on scene on May 18, crews began work and repaired the sign around 12:30 p.m. All of the lanes were then reopened by 1:15 p.m.
The lane closures caused massive traffic backups and delayed thousands of drivers for hours. According to the NCDOT, the lane closure is not a "Permitted Closure" that is listed in the contract. Crews announced they will withhold liquidated damages in the amount of $412,500, which will then be calculated at the rate of $12,500 per 15-minute period of lane closure.
At the completion of the project, I-77 Mobility Partners will have a chance to argue for the money that was withheld. The company must prove the penalty was out of their control.
I-77 Mobility Partners was fined over $1 million dollars earlier in 2017 for lane closures on 277 and I-77 that were not permitted.