Drivers rattled by narrow lanes on I-77

- In Thursday’s edition of the I-77 diaries, FOX 46 is investigating narrow lanes in the construction zone after a driver posted a picture on Facebook.

Kelly Mullins posted a photo showing a large truck barely making it through the tight lanes.

"The wide zone truck was in the middle, the cars were getting pigeonholed on barrier side or the barrier side to the right," said April Beckman, a mortgage contractor in the Lake Norman area.

RelatedSugar Creek Construction denies driver's claim I-77 construction damaged vehicle

She's on the road a lot.

"I'm concerned for myself; I’m concerned for my friends and my family traveling on the interstate of late," she said. 

She and other drivers said they're white-knuckling it every time the lanes get narrow in the I-77 construction zone just north of uptown Charlotte. 

"Something is going to happen at some point," Mullins said. 

On Interstate-77, near the Tryon Exit, the lanes are not only narrower it's also hard to tell where the lines are.

"There are dark lines, there are gray lines, quasi white lines, and then all of a sudden they change," she said. 

And with ruts in the road Beckman said there's not much room for error.

"I don't care if you have an older car, a newer car. The grooves swerve the cars. The tires get into a groove and veer off slightly. It's a slight movement when the lanes are only 11 or 11 and a half feet wide, and the lanes are not marked properly, it's huge," she said. 

NCDOT said the standard width for lanes on the highway is 12 feet, but there is no legal minimum width, according to the department.

Sugar Creek Construction said the "travel lanes in the work zone can be reduced to 11 feet per state provisions."

FOX 46 Charlotte also asked for the company to specifically address drivers' concern about the narrowness of the lanes. To that they sent the same statement they've emailed us in the past:

“Motorists are encouraged to use extra caution when approaching the work zone, obey the posted speed limit and work zone signs, and allow extra time to reach their destinations safely.”

NCDOT said the lanes are narrower due to the concrete barriers which protect both drivers and workers.

The department said it's still looking into NC Senator Tarte's request to require trucks drive in the right lane in the construction area.

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