$2 million going towards I-77 traffic study, transportation officials say

The Charlotte Regional Transport Organization is planning to spend $2 million to study a big problem: Traffic on I-77. 

"I really think that the traffic on I-77 is a bit crazy at times because it can be very hectic, especially around the hours around 5 p.m. traffic and maybe 6 a.m.,” Honyst Jones told FOX 46. 

The CRTPO will spend the next two years researching and planning alternative options for travel along a 68-mile stretch of I-77 from Rock Hill to Statesville. 

"I’ll take South Tryon into fort mill especially if traffic is really backed up,” one driver said.  

"I like to take alternate routes like South Tryon, South Boulevard, I like to go through Pineville because there's a lot of backroads there as well,” said Jones. 

The cost of the study is being paid for by a federal grant. The point is to figure out how to move vehicles and people more efficiently for the next 20 to 40 years. A CRTPO planning engineer says nothing else can be done to expand I-77, so roads like South Tryon Street and South Boulevard will be evaluated.

"As it is the congestion on the backroads along with the main roads is already pretty high,” said another driver. 

The study will make recommendations for greenways, mass transit, and ride sharing but not everyone agrees it's a good idea.

"I don't think it's actually going to quell as much as they think it will because mass transit is already here,” he said. 

"A bus system or some type of transit system that goes between Fort Mill and Charlotte and all the surrounding areas would be a good option."

But most agree something has to be done. 

"At this stage I think anything would be helpful."

The study could begin as early as next month, although information may not be made available to the public until the beginning of 2020.