Plan B

Update: We received this from CRTPO Secretary Robert Cook:

An article on your website entitled “Plan B” regarding the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization (CRTPO) contains incorrect information. The CRTPO does not have a draft 2017 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) out for public comment. Feedback is being sought on projects to be submitted to the NCDOT Prioritization database, which is part of the TIP development process, but there is no draft TIP being presented for comment or approval at this time. A draft TIP will not be released for at least one year. Your organization is kindly requested to modify the article to correct the error regarding a draft TIP. The link below is to a media release that provides further detail and will assist in making the requested correction.


When it comes to the I-77 toll project, the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization (CRTPO) has never been a source of good news. Until now.

A month after adopting the 2015 Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) despite over 700 comments to the contrary, CRTPO is out with a draft of their 2017 TIP.  Two new projects would add general purpose lanes from Huntersville to Statesville.

But don’t get too excited.

These projects are placeholders, a plan “B” in case the toll lanes don’t get built. If they add these to the TIP, CRTPO will lay the groundwork for a general purpose lane solution. Right now CRTPO is gathering a list of projects. They’ll vote on the list this Wednesday, Sept 16. The projects will then be scored and ranked. The ranking process will take several months, after which they will produce a prioritized list.

The first I-77 GP project would add two general purpose lanes in each direction from Exit 19 to Exit 28 (approximately I-485 to Cornelius). This marks the first time we can recall a project directly addressing the Lake Norman problem. Previously we’ve seen hypothetical projects that add lanes all the way into Charlotte. That adds cost with little benefit, and results in lowering the project’s overall score.

The second project adds a single general purpose lane in each direction from Exit 28 up to Interstate 40. This project combines three projects that previously were separate.

This is a bit concerning. Of course, we’d love to see I-77 widened all the way to Statesville, but in a fiscally constrained world we need to spend money only where it is needed. Right now that is widening up to Mooresville. Traffic does not back up through Troutman.

Our concern is this project, with a cost of $520 million, will be too expensive vis a vis the benefits. It won’t score high enough to survive the ranking process. However, we’re told that each segment will be ranked on its own merit, and the southern segment (project number I-4750AB) is from exit 28 to exit 36. That would align neatly with where the congestion actually is.

These projects have been recommended by the Technical Coordinating Committee. Cornelius Assistant Town Manager Andrew Grant has been working behind the scenes to make this happen as has Commissioner Woody Washam. CRTPO usually votes based on the TCC’s recommendation. As mentioned previously, CRTPO will vote September 16, next Wednesday.

Once again CRTPO is accepting public input.  You can email them at, or fax 704-336-5123.  Tell them you want CRTPO to adopt the 2017 Draft TIP as recommended by the TCC.  The comment period closes this Tuesday.

Here’s to a second chance.

25 Responses to Plan B

  1. Michael Dailey says:

    Please adopt this new resolution. Let all commuters gain from new lanes not just those that can afford up to $10 each way.

    Thank you for your consideration.
    Michael Dailey

  2. Rita Wilson says:

    I have lived in Huntersville for over 18 years and as a citizen of the Lake Norman area, I beg you to adopt this new plan. Tolls, as proposed, will be a disaster to this area.

  3. Nancy Brand says:

    Please adopt this new resolution 2017 Draft TIP as recommended by the TCC for additional lanes to I 77. This will enable ALL commuters to have access to the new lanes.
    Thank you.
    Nancy Brand

    • KG says:

      To the folks who are posting their “Please adopt this resolution” messages here, please send them instead to the email address of Fax number referenced in the original post. Posting them here won’t have the desired effect.

  4. KG says:

    If it’s of use to anyone, here’s the verbiage of the email I sent to the CRTPO. It’s not Shakespeare, but it (hopefully) gets the point across.

    Dear members,

    As a resident of the Lake Norman area who regularly experiences the significant traffic delays on I-77 from below Exit 23 all the way past Exit 36, I would like to request the CRTPO adopt the 2017 Draft Transportation Improvement Plan as recommended by the Technical Coordinating Committee.

    Thank you for your consideration.


  5. Jeff says:

    I just sent an email and got an I will be out of office from Sept 8 – Sept 14 reply. How convenient.

  6. Seth Stratton says:

    Email Sent. Thanks for the updated info.

  7. William Sykes says:


  8. Seth Stratton says:

    I received the following automatic reply, I believe it was the same one I received last time I sent an email to this address: “I will be out of the office from Tuesday, September 8 and will return on Monday, September 14. I will have limited access to e-mail. I will respond to your email when I return.

    Neil Burke”

  9. ron maurice says:

    Here’s the response i got from my email to CRTPO

    I will be out of the office from Tuesday, September 8 and will return on Monday, September 14. I will have limited access to e-mail. I will respond to your email when I return.

    Neil Burke

  10. Steven Schultze says:

    Please adopt the 2017 Draft TIP as recommended by the TCC. The toll roads is a very bad idea and will not benefit anyone in this area. Thanks

  11. Fran Andrich says:

    i would love ve to see the 2017 Draft TIP that has been recommended. The toll road plan is going to be unaffordable to most commuters which will hurt real estate values and businesses in the Lake Norman area.

  12. Stephen Marek says:

    Dear members,

    As one, of way too many, that experiences significant traffic delays on I-77 from below Exit 23 all the way past Exit 36, please, please, please adopt the 2017 Draft Transportation Improvement Plan as recommended by the Technical Coordinating Committee.

    Thank you for your consideration.

  13. Ruth vecch says:

    Finally someone in our representation with some brains. Finally someone who can see through the muck that has been placed before us. Finally some good news and possibly happy citizens in our so overlooked community.

  14. Kathy Butterfield says:


  15. Doug Honeycutt says:

    i beg, plead and grovel that you accept the 2017 TIP draft

  16. A Mooresvile Resident says:

    Also send your email to

    You should not get an “out-of-office reply.

    The “out-of-office” reply appears to be a ruse, so send the second e-mail.

  17. Jeff Shook says:

    doing it now, the avg citizen cannot afford and extra $300 a month added to their budget to travel I 77 EVERY month

  18. Thomas Uhl says:

    Please adopt the new 2017 Draft Transportation Improvement Plan resolution as recommended by the Technical Coordinating Committee for additional general purpose lanes for I 77.

    The current toll lane project will not eliminate the existing problem. The general purpose lanes will still be congested by commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles passing through North Carolina. The lake view also contributes to this problem. Additional general purpose lanes are the only way of minimizing our current bottleneck. In traveling I-77 and visualizing a toll lane during the congested periods, common sense prevails that this is not the answer.

    The new resolution will benefit our local commuters and those traveling through our beautiful state.

    Thank you in advance for adopting this resolution.

  19. […] we reported CRTPO was poised to approve a project list at their next meeting. That list included a general purpose lane project, a prerequisite for general purpose lanes being funded through normal appropriations. The project […]

  20. Reginald says:

    we hebben niet met 1-6 maar met 1-8 veenorelrn dat pakken we hun dan terug, als wuij dan weer tegen hun moeten spellenwij uit tegen hun thuis. Daar kunnen wij er op gaan vertrouwen op dat momment,dat zou gert en lia ook zeggen gr van stefan

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