Dust clouds stir up concern on Interstate-77

Huge dust clouds from all the construction are making it dangerous for drivers on Interstate 77.

Crews working on the I-77 toll lanes are kicking up the dust. Drivers say that makes it difficult to see.

"It's dense. As you're coming up on it, you're not sure if it's an accident, or if it's smoke, or what it is as you're coming up on it. You just see all this cloudy air and don't know what to think."

Michelle Ferlauto says a friend sent her some photos of the dust Monday morning, but she was also in the cloud.

"Visibility is so terrible; it's floating across the freeway. It has a fog effect on a driver."

FOX 46 Charlotte took a look at the problem first hand. Our cameras captured several dust clouds on I-77 between exits 23 in Huntersville and 28 in Cornelius.

"Safety concerns are not addressed until the media is made aware of them and made public."

Throughout the day on Tuesday, FOX 46 Charlotte asked NCDOT and I-77 mobility partners why the dust clouds weren't prevented and what they'll change in the future.

NCDOT deferred to I-77 mobility partners who sent this statement:

“The lead contractor and their crews actively monitor conditions in the work zone and use water trucks to manage dust.  Currently, water trucks are wetting the work zone in both northbound and southbound directions where needed. Crews will continue monitoring the results of this effort.”

Ferlauto says she wants to get results so she and other drivers are safe going to work and coming home at the end of the day.

"The gouges in the road didn't get repaired until the media got involved. Debris falling off the side of the construction site didn't get taken care of until the media stepped in. You're all we've got."

On Wednesday, the North Carolina court of appeals will be hearing oral arguments for a lawsuit filed against the I-77 toll lane project.

We'll bring you the latest on air and online about the proceedings.