Local News

State Senator: Border Toll Roads Could Be 'Devastating' To Northern N.C.

Posted February 16, 2006

— A North Carolina lawmaker is criticizing a proposal to build toll roads on major interstates along the Virginia border, saying it could have a devastating impact on a new development project for the state.

The toll road plan, which was recently approved by Virginia's Senate and is coming up for a vote in the commonwealth's House, sets up a compact with the Tar Heel state.

Providing North Carolina agrees to the system, there would be tolls on both sides of the border.

N.C. Rep. Lucy Allen, D-Franklin, is a member of a state legislative committe that is considering toll roads as a possible alternatives for funding repairs to state roads.

She worries that the proposal could keep motorists from traveling along Interstate 95, which in Roanoke Rapids is the site of the new Carolina Crossroads Music & Entertainment District.

"(The project) relies on traffic from New York to Florida, not from local traffic," Franklin said.

Motorists would have to pay $5 to cross -- enough to already have them thinking of alternative routes.

"I wouldn't really like to pay to ride the road," said I-95 traveler Bryan Johnston. "(I would) probably try to avoid it and come out below and bypass it all together."

If Virginia's House of Representatives approve the toll road plan, it would then be up to North Carolina legislators, who are not scheduled to meet before May 10, to decide whether to participate in the compact.

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