CHARLOTTE, NC (Steve Harrison/Charlotte Observer) - Interstate 77 in south Charlotte will soon be resurfaced, and the N.C. Department of Transportation also plans to improve pavement markings and painted lane lines.
The DOT recently awarded a $12.8 million contract to improve five miles of I-77 from Tyvola Road to Morehead Street. Last year, the state resurfaced and improved I-77 from the South Carolina state line to Tyvola Road. Work could start as early as June 25, and it's expected to be finished by September 2019.
I-77 carries 166,000 vehicles a day south of uptown. The busiest section of I-77 is north of uptown at LaSalle Street, where 181,000 vehicles pass daily.
The project also includes improvements to the I-77 northbound and southbound bridges at West Boulevard, and the off-ramp bridge exiting I-77 South to West Boulevard.
The state will paint the bridges and a new concrete deck for a smoother ride on all three bridges.
The contract does not include new lighting for the highway, which is often dark due to burned-out or broken lights.
Jen Thompson, a spokesperson for the DOT, said the state is working to install new LED lights on many roadways, including I-77. The Charlotte area has roughly 3,300 light fixtures, and the DOT is about halfway through improving those lights. That lighting contract is scheduled to be finished in November.