Construction for I-77's controversial toll lanes began Monday night, I-77 Mobility Partners announced.
The company says construction will begin in the median of I-77 and should not get in the way of regular traffic, although some lanes will be shifted. Construction will start south of Gilead Road, exit 23 and go north to Catawba Avenue, exit 28.
The construction will be during both day and nighttime, but lane closures are for the most part only expected at night, according to the construction group.
Several businesses and citizens have protested the project. A group called "Widen Interstate 77" sued Mecklenburg county, saying the new lanes should not include a toll. Other people have raised issues about the company behind the project, Cintra, who will operate the toll lanes under a 50 year contract. A judge ruled against a temporary injunction to stop construction filed by "Widen I-77."
I-77 Mobility Partners says once construction on the lanes is finished in 2018, cars with three or more people will be able to use the express lanes for free. Cars with fewer people will pay a toll. The total widening project will span 26 miles of highway.
Details on specific closures and traffic notices can be found here.