Monroe Expressway to Improve Capacity of U.S. 74 Corridor

Once complete, the Monroe Expressway will be operated by the North Carolina Turnpike Authority.

📅   Tue July 05, 2016 - Southeast Edition #14
Brenda Ruggiero - CEG Correspondent


An expressway extending nearly 20 mi. (32 km) is one of the current projects being undertaken by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT).
An expressway extending nearly 20 mi. (32 km) is one of the current projects being undertaken by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT).
An expressway extending nearly 20 mi. (32 km) is one of the current projects being undertaken by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). Construction is currently on schedule. It started in May 2015, and the project is scheduled to open to traffic in late 2018.

An expressway extending nearly 20 mi. (32 km) is one of the current projects being undertaken by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). The road extends from U.S. 74 near I-485 in Mecklenburg County to U.S. 74 between the towns of Wingate and Marshville in Union County.

The Monroe Expressway will reportedly improve mobility and capacity in the U.S 74 corridor by allowing for high-speed regional travel while maintaining access to properties along existing U.S. 74. Once complete, the Monroe Expressway will be operated by the North Carolina Turnpike Authority.

Construction is currently on schedule. It started in May 2015, and the project is scheduled to open to traffic in late 2018.

The full dollar amount is $731 million, with the contract awarded to Monroe Bypass Constructors LLC.

When complete, the road will be North Carolina's second toll road, with the first being the Triangle Expressway in Raleigh. It will be the first operational toll road in the Charlotte area, and will eventually be part of a network of express lanes in the greater Charlotte area.

“NCDOT continues to work with local municipalities, elected officials and the public to help educate them on the scope of the project and how it will improve mobility through the region,” said Jordan-Ashley Baker, communications officer of NCDOT. “As with any new project, there are understandably logistical questions about project operations and execution that we are happy to help answer.”

Major subcontractors include A-1 Pavement Marking for pavement markings; AH Beck for drilled shafts; Amec for geotechnical services; Blount Sandford for concrete barrier wall; Border Rebar for reinforcing steel; BPI-BMI for paving and base; Bullington for fence and guardrail; Callis Construction for toll buildings; Carolina Enviro for erosion and sediment control; Catoe Well Drilling for environmental; Cherry Contracting for sound walls; Curtin Trucking for roadway shoulder drains; Dane Construction for bridge work; Dellinger Construction for bridge work; Diversified Engineering for quality control; and East Coast Drilling for blasting.

Also, ES Wagner for grading and drainage; GML for vegetation; Hiatt & Mason for reinforcing steel; HRI for grading, drainage, and bridge work; Lee & Sims for drilled shafts; Mountain Creek Contractors for box culverts; Nicky Construction for jack and bore pipe; Penhall Co. for concrete grooving; PSI for traffic control devices; RCI Demolition for building demolition; Seal Bros. for erosion and sediment control; Southern Concrete Construction for concrete barrier wall; State Utility for wet utilities; Stay Alert for traffic control; RK & K, lead engineer; T & H Electrical, AET, ITS, signals, and signs; TJC Painting for aesthetic painting; Tricolor Construction for MSE Walls; Vecellio & Grogan for grading and drainage; Watts Barrier Walls for bridge barrier wall; and WES BEN for clearing and grubbing.

According to NCDOT, equipment used on the job is reportedly mostly Caterpillar, and includes various dozers, scrapers, articulating trucks, quarry trucks, excavators, compactors, and motorgraders. There also are 75 to 150 ton (68 to 136 t) Link-Belt and American Cranes, and ICE and Delmag pile hammers.

In early June, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the NCDOT and against several environmental groups, which reaffirmed a district court's ruling that construction on the expressway could continue as planned. A three-judge panel upheld a Sept. 2015 decision that the environmental study is both valid and lawful.

“I want to thank the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals for this decision today,” said Nick Tennyson, N.C. Transportation Secretary. “NCDOT is eager to move beyond litigation and moving forward, focus its efforts on delivering this much-needed project to the people of North Carolina.”