CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- I-77 Mobility Partners announced that construction of the I-77 Express Lanes in the Charlotte and Lake Norman region will begin this Monday.

A public-private partnership is providing a $648 million investment for a 26-mile expansion that will alleviate traffic congestion in one of North Carolina's most important corridors.

Construction of the I-77 Express Lanes will occur in the median of I-77. Occasional lane shifts and closures will only take place in overnight hours, the group said.

"I-77 Mobility Partners is excited to begin construction. The project will bring reduced traffic congestion, spur economic development through the hiring of 50-100 local firms and deliver a choice for North Carolina drivers at little cost to taxpayers," said Jean Leier, Director of Corporate Affairs at I-77 Mobility Partners. "We are committed to regular and ongoing communications with residents, commuters and businesses in the area to ensure a successful and safe project."

Construction will start in the area south of Exit 23 Gilead Road to north of Exit 28 Catawba Avenue. Traffic control measures include restriping the roadway and shifting the lanes, installing a concrete safety barrier near the median and placing road markers along the project area.

Initial construction work involves clearing the land and grading of the area. In 2016 drivers will see construction work along most of the 26-mile project.