CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Beginning Sunday, I-77 Mobility Partners will be responsible for operations and maintenance for the entire 26-mile I-77 Corridor from I-277 in Charlotte to Exit 36 in Mooresville.
Operations and maintenance functions for the corridor are being transitioned from the North Carolina Department of Transportation to I-77 Mobility Partners as part of the express lanes project agreement.
The maintenance team will provide roadway and right-of-way maintenance including mowing, debris cleanup, and road repair. Additionally, the maintenance team will help drivers with minor roadside emergencies such as jumping a battery or changing a tire.
"We will hold them to the same standards that we would hold our own crews to perform to make sure the roads are safe and in order," said Jen Thompson with NCDOT. "We are still going to have our inspectors on-site just like they normally are."
There is some concern that the contractor will not perform the duties up to standard.
"We find no comfort in that whatsoever," said Bill Russell, president of the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce. "At least with NCDOT, you have an organization that is accountable to the commuters, to the taxpayers, to the citizens in this region. Cintra, I-77 Mobility is a private for-profit company."
"They were not doing their job back when these markers were popping up and debris on the roadway was hitting cars," said Chris Durham, a driver who had his car damaged by debris on I-77. "I feel this could be a step back, hopefully, it will not be a step back."
Law enforcement officers will continue to patrol the corridor and respond to incidents along with emergency responders.
"With this, the level of monitoring and inspection is not going to change," said Thompson.
NCDOT will continue to respond during winter events that require snow and ice removal.
Drivers who need to report an issue or request assistance can call 1-855-477-2018. In case of an emergency, call 911.
For more information, click here.