you're reading...

Cornelius News

I-77 stanchions will be moved

By Dave Vieser. Stanchions which were recently placed in construction zones on I-77 will be moved farther away from the general purpose lanes once paving is completed. Their location close to the current traffic lanes has generated numerous complaints from motorists.

“The striping and delineator/stanchion locations are both temporary as the general contractor works on rehabilitating the existing pavement and placing final pavement,” said I-77 Mobility Partners spokeswoman Jean Leier. “The delineators will be placed in the middle of the buffer once the final pavement and striping has been placed. In their final position they will be more than two feet away from the general purpose lanes.”

Delineators are reflective and made of material such as plastic which will give way when contacted for safety reasons. The use of delineators for toll lanes and at toll booths actually began in 1991, when seven toll collection agencies from New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania created an alliance known as the E-ZPass.

One of the organization’s first duties was to choose a way to designate the auto-paying lanes, and purple delineators was the choice.

Today two dozen agencies in 13 different states use them.

Meanwhile, alert motorists using I-77 have no doubt noticed that Speed Limit signs on the new toll lanes have begun to appear, with a maximum speed limit of 70 mph.  Before anyone gets too excited, the new rate is not a done deal.

“If the design standard allows for safe operation at a higher speed, that will be implemented, but that decision has not yet been made, said DOT spokeswoman Jen Thompson.

When asked why 70 mph speed signs were being put up now, she said they would be covered up to avoid any confusion for motorists.

If the DOT ultimately decides on the 70 mph limit, that would be an increase of five miles an hour over the existing speed limit. The 70 mph speed limit on I-77 currently applies only between Statesville and the Virginia State Line.