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Ellmers trying to block I-95 tolls

Posted March 9, 2012
Updated March 10, 2012

— Second District Congresswoman Renee Ellmers is fighting a plan that would allow North Carolina to collect tolls on Interstate 95.

The Federal Highway Administration gave the state Department of Transportation preliminary permission last month to pursue tolling on the interstate to help pay for highway improvements.

Ellmers has introduced a bill in Congress that would prohibit tolls on I-95, saying that the DOT hasn't demonstrated that improvements couldn't be implemented without a toll, as required by law.

North Carolina drivers shouldn't have to bear the burden of a toll in addition to paying one of the highest gas taxes in the country, she said.

Many people who have attended public hearings about the I-95 tolling plan have asked that the state find other ways to fund road improvements, but DOT officials say the state has to maintain more roads with shrinking revenue from the gas tax.

North Carolina, which is one of three states participating in a pilot project allowing tolling on existing interstates, consistently ranks in the top two states for the number of roads it manages. It also ranks near the bottom nationally in dollars spent per mile of highway.

A 2009 study commissioned by the DOT said that driving all 182 miles of I-95 in North Carolina would cost about $19.20 in tolls.

DOT officials said they are considering a decreased tolling rate for frequent users, such as people who commute to work on I-95.

83 Comments

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  • Mar 16, 2:12 p.m.

    i think toll is fine if they will take that money and fix the roads with it and not use it for something eles but if the money it's going to fix the road than we don't need toll roads. I-95 roads needs to be fix not patched.

  • lovelarvae Mar 13, 3:03 p.m.

    "North Carolina...consistently ranks in the top two states for the number of roads it manages. It also ranks near the bottom nationally in dollars spent per mile of highway."

    Just savor that for a moment...

  • Chairman of the Bored Mar 9, 7:19 p.m.

    I hope she has better luck at this then she did as when she was put in charge of defeating the payroll tax extension. Ellmers has been an epic failure on every effort she has been put in charge of by Boehner.

  • geosol Mar 9, 6:46 p.m.

    Entitlements are GOOD for little right wingers, as long as they don't have to PAY FOR IT!

  • geosol Mar 9, 6:44 p.m.

    Too funny!!! Ignorant little right wingers parroting their "leader" on the radio who tells them that tolls are BAD, BAD, BAD, but when the Democrat Governor of NC repeals the tolls on ferries, they scream bloody murder that its illegal, when it was the REPUBLICAN legislature that imposed the new tolls. Let the ignorant little right wingers pay for their own roads like they've been told to advocate, and watch what happens to commerce.

  • JohnnyMcRonny Mar 9, 6:05 p.m.

    39c/gal tax? Oh, please. I bet nearly everyone here has at least 10% unnecessary mileage that they could get rid of. Most people just don't put any planning into their driving. "Oh, need a pint of milk? OK..." - five mile round trip later - "Here you are, dear? What, butter, too? Back in a mo'"

    Plan before you drive and drive your plan.

    It's easy.

    Stop moaning.

  • mep Mar 9, 5:23 p.m.

    Tolls... because for some reason 39 cents PER GALLON of gasoline, coupled with billions of dollars from the Federal govt from the highway trust fund and other grants is somehow not enough to maintain our roads. DOT and even the NC DOT are nothing bloated mismanaged govt entities. Before they start taxing and tolling even more... how about accounting for where the billions they already get are going?

  • cjw6105 Mar 9, 5:20 p.m.

    Those who support this toll need to take a ride up to West Virginia and see first-hand what tolls have done to the approximate 100-mile stretch of I-77 north of the Virginia border to near Charleston.

    You've got 3 toll booths, with a $2 toll at each stop, up from $1.25 about 2 years ago. Along this highway you'll find possibly the highest-priced gas east of the West Coast, which is located at expensive stops, and you've got an impoverished area whose access is cut off from this toll road.

    You simply do not stop for anything along that highway except to pay the tolls. And I have vowed, because of this toll, to NEVER again stop anywhere in West Virginia, let alone spend one dime there. This same scenario would play out with the vast majority of motorists entering NC from VA and SC. Stop at the border, fill up, drive through and don't stop until you get out of NC.

    It is an exact image of what the I-95 corridor thru NC will look like if tolled.

  • cn38of50 Mar 9, 5:18 p.m.

    Tolls do not make financial sense! To keep people from finding a way to "Sneak" through you would have to put people in booths to collect the tolls, + have several accountants to check the DOT books every week or so to make sure they aren't stealing all the money (AGAIN!)

  • Nancy Mar 9, 5:17 p.m.

    "Just put the tolls at the state lines. We pay to drive in other states, why shouldn't those passing through pay their share......" - beachlvr

    Except 60% of the interstate funding is paid for by the feds through gas taxes (federal gas taxes), the money WE pay for maintenance comes from our very high gas taxes.

    Now, do you know exactly how many miles of the near 50K interstate road miles are actually tolled? Less that 3K - and those that opted to toll no longer get the federal monies.

    Make your choice.

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