CORNELIUS – Widen I-77, a recently formed citizen’s group, invites the public and elected officials to a presentation and discussion of the state’s plan for widening I-77 through the Lake Norman area using high occupancy toll, or HOT, lanes.

According to the group’s press release, “this stretch of I-77 has never been widened since its construction in the 1970s despite a tenfold increase in the area’s population.

It remains the only stretch of interstate in Mecklenburg County that is four lanes and is among the most congested roads in North Carolina.

The group will present the results of its independent fact-finding with regard to the negative effect the state’s plan will have on the area’s congestion, business climate and quality of life.

The meeting will take place 7 p.m. Jan. 14 at Cornelius Town Hall Room 204, 21445 Catawba Ave.

Kurt Naas, a member of Widen I-77 and outspoken resident against the widening of I-77 said, “The group believes this is the most important issue facing our region since Lake Norman was created. Decisions regarding this important transportation artery will affect us for generations to come, and the group is committed to educating the aforementioned on the consequences of the state’s current plan. There are several critical deadlines approaching and time is of the essence.”

Email widenI77@hotmail.com for information about the group or the meeting.