CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - Thousands of feet of a concrete barrier wall on I-77 that were built below North Carolina Department of Transportation safety standards have been replaced, according to officials.
“2,500 feet (less than a half mile) of barrier wall was removed and replaced just south of exit 28 in the median," NCDOT told FOX 46's Caroline Fountain. The barrier ran from exit 28 to exit 36.
Sugar Creek Construction built the first barrier wall without steel rebar, according to NCDOT. The metal reinforcement is required for safety. The wall is being replaced with one that includes steel rebar. The metal helps strengthen the concrete.
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.
“It is our understanding that no further barrier wall needs to be replaced related to this issue. Other barrier wall in this area is newly installed, and was not previously in place,” NCDOT said.
Many who live in the area were shocked that such and error could be made, and were wondering who would pay the cost to have it repaired.
"It's mind-blowing that somebody would make that error," said Steven Radmann of Cornelius. "Nobody questioned 'where's the rebar'? The most important safety barrier that against cars going head on collisions to fail."
A NCDOT spokesperson said, “there should not be additional cost to the taxpayer,” in an email to FOX 46. Thankfully, the issue is now resolved.