NC Highway Patrol overwhelmed with I-485 responsibilities

Incident Management Assistance Patrols (IMAP), handled by NCDOT covers calls concerning stranded motorists and debris on the road. They used to respond to problems on I-77, I-85 and I-485.

But due to budget cuts, NC Highway Patrol was handed over the responsibilities for I-485. Highway patrol says IMAP could no longer respond to the busy roadway.

"It definitely puts a strain on our manpower. We have a limited manpower so the manpower now we have to shift to take those calls on 485 is taking away from the other areas like I-77 and I-85. That may increase our response time in other areas," First Sergeant with NC Highway Patrol Kelly J. Sturgill said.

IMAP has six drivers who cover Mecklenburg County for the entire day, three on the morning shift and three in the afternoon.

"Right now we cover four counties with nine drivers. We are stretched a little thin. We would like to have additional resources," said Tim Kirk, with NCDOT

According to NCDOT, IMAP handed over the I-485 responsibility to highway patrol about two years ago. 

NCDOT does monitor live footage of 150 miles of roadway. Highway patrol says ever since the new loop of 485 opened up, their calls for service has increased, causing them to exhaust their manpower.

Highway patrol tells Fox 46, 29 troopers cover Mecklenburg County and they haven't added on their staff since the change.

"No additional manpower to supplement the lack of DOT now on 485," First Sergeant Sturgill said.

NCDOT currently responds to a thousand incidents a month, with an average response time of 15 minutes.

Fox 46 called the NCDOT Raleigh office. They tell us in their search for more revenue they've partnered with State Farm insurance to help with the calls.

IMAP covers I-77 from the state line in South Carolina to I-40 in Iredell County and on I-85 from exit 17 to the Rowan County line.