First responders face delay because of I-77 construction barriers

- I-77 Mobility Partners, The North Carolina Department of Transportation and Charlotte area first responders will discuss if any changes are needed to the construction barriers that have been placed on the highway's emergency lanes.

Wednesday morning, there was a serious accident on I-77 near mile marker 14. Following the accident, traffic was backed up for hours. In that traffic, were first responders trying to access the scene.

Thomas Brake with Mecklenburg EMS Agency said their first unit arrived six minutes after the incident was reported. He said the accident involved an 18-wheeler and other vehicles. Three people were transported to the hospital, one of those patients has life-threatening injuries.

RELATED: Serious crash shuts down I-77 for hours and sends three to the hospital

Brake said the traffic was grid locked, with some emergency crews responding to help, unable to use the emergency lanes because of the construction barriers and backed up traffic. First responders started taking alternate routes to access the accident located on the highway.

The construction group taking lead on the highway project, I-77 Mobility Partners, had workers go out to the scene and remove the barriers to allow traffic to flow through and give those first responders stuck in traffic access to the accident site.

In a statement given to FOX 46 Charlotte by I-77 Mobility Partners, they wrote in part:

“The I-77 project and construction teams meet regularly with municipalities along the corridor to review construction activity, discuss ideas and receive feedback. These meetings involve town staff, including representatives from emergency responder agencies. We are thankful for this collaboration, which has been instrumental in the placement of access points for emergency vehicles along the project corridor. “

FOX 46 Charlotte reached out to The North Carolina Department of Transportation, where officials told us, the incident will most likely be discussed at the next meeting that the I-77 Mobility Partners referenced in the statement above. NCDOT officials do not acknowledge at this time that there are any issues with the construction barriers but will review if there are any changes that need to be made.

 

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