Barrier in I-77 construction zone built without steel reinforcement

- A mistake in the I-77 construction zone now has crews tearing down entire concrete barriers. 

"It's mind-blowing that somebody would make that error," said Steven Radmann of Cornelius.

"It's unbelievable honestly," Shannon Horne of Cornelius said.

The concrete barrier wall being built from exit 28 to exit 36 is being replaced after a major mishap in construction.

"What's upsetting is that it's going to go on even longer because they obviously don't know what they're doing," said Horne. 

Sugar Creek Construction built the first barrier wall without steel rebar, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

The metal reinforcement is required for safety. The wall is being replaced with one that includes steel rebar. The metal helps strengthen the concrete.

"Nobody questioned 'where's the rebar'? The most important safety barrier that against cars going head on collisions to fail," said Radmann. 

The mistake was caught by two construction engineering and inspection firms, according to NCDOT. The department works with them to make sure construction meets their standards.

"They need to find out where the breakdown happened before they get contracted to do anything else. That's a big mistake," said Horne.

A NCDOT spokesperson wrote in an email, “there should not be additional cost to the taxpayer,” when we asked who would pay for the mistake.

The concrete barrier walls must be replaced with ones that have steel rebar and follow NCDOT standards before the travel lanes are opened, according to the department.

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