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I-77 traffic snarl to cost toll lane contractor $1.3 million

A failure to reopen closed lanes in the Interstate 77 toll lane construction zone Tuesday will cost the contractor $1.3 million.

The N.C. Department of Transportation, in a letter to contractor I-77 Mobility Partners, said road closures on I-77 North weren’t removed until 7:45 a.m. Tuesday. Ramps on the I-277 east and westbound ramps weren’t opened until 8:05 a.m. Lanes in the area were supposed to be opened by 5 a.m.

DOT said it would withhold damages of $1.3 million from its next partial pay estimate to the company.

I-77 North was a mess Tuesday, with traffic backed up for miles, for two reasons. A pedestrian’s death blocked lanes at the Clanton Road exit while overnight construction work at Brookshire Freeway took longer than expected.

A DOT spokeswoman said Tuesday that equipment on the Brookshire site was not sufficient to clean the pavement following overnight construction activity.

An I-77 Mobility Partners official did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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