State Budget, So Far, Is Without Toll Road Funding

Posted May 31, 2007
Updated June 1, 2007

— Plans are in place for two toll roads in the Triangle, but funding is not.

That could mean trouble for transportation planners, who say pay roads are the only option as road construction costs increase and highway funding decreases.

Toll backers wanted $18 million to fund the gap between projected toll revenues and the cost of building the Western Wake Expressway – the leg of Interstate 540 that will stretch south from Interstate 40 to N.C. Highway 55 in Holly Springs – and the Research Triangle Parkway , a road to connect I-540 with the Durham Freeway.

Despite the push toward pay-to-drive, there is no toll funding in either the state House's or Senate's budget proposal.

"The gap funding they're looking for currently is in limbo," said Rep. Nelson Cole, D-Rockingham. "I don't know how we go about this. We might have to go back into session and approve this just for the turnpike."

David Joyner, with the North Carolina Turnpike Authority, which supports toll roads, said he is not surprised.

"We knew that it probably wouldn't be in the budget in the House or the Senate, because that's an appropriations bill, and the money is just not there. We need new money."

The Turnpike Authority hopes a bill to pay for Triangle Expressway comes out of the Senate before the end of this session.

"We're not in crisis mode at this point, but it's close," Joyner said.

Something would have to happen in the next few weeks to get toll road money lined up.

If it gets the $18 million from the state, the Turnpike Authority said it could put the Triangle Expressway project out to bid in late June.


Please with your account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • richard2 Jun 2, 2007

    Do not let the elected leaders spend the road taxes on other things. We pay enough in gas taxes to build and maintain our road system. Do not vote for these people again.

  • turnpike420 Jun 1, 2007

    Hi folks. Want your voice heard - WRITE your NC Senate and House reps (state level, not national). Express to those lawmakers you do NOT want tolls.

    You may also join the fight begun here locally:
    Online Petition:


  • Wheelman Jun 1, 2007

    If the Govenor and the legislature didn't illegally take money from the Highway Fund for their pet projects it would have the funding. The courts haven't finished with this one yet. I don't like tolls and will not use it unless everyone who uses I540 help pay for it. If the only way to finish I540 is a toll, then it should be put on the entire I540. No justice in financially penalizing the users of the unfinished stretch whose taxes have helped pay for the parts that are completed and then charge them extra to get their part done. Most of the people in the northern part of the county will never use it, so the majority of the burden will be on those who are local to it. The toll could be less and it would take a shorter time to pay it off.

  • 68_polara Jun 1, 2007


    The state isn't short of road money, otherwise they wouldn't be able to raid the highway fund yearly to add to the general fund. No bones about it, this is a tax increase.

  • Tax Man Jun 1, 2007

    I have an idea - let's place a toll on all major roads that run through our state - like I95, I40 - and charge a toll for anyone without NC plates - don't charge the residents, just the tourists and those passing through. Toll booths at all borders, reasonable - say $1.00 at each entry. No tolls for any NC residents. Use this money to finally get our dilapidated roads back in shape and build new ones for the taxpayers of NC.

  • littleredwolfie Jun 1, 2007

    If the State is going to charge us tolls to use the roads, then they need to come up with some better roads. There is road construction all of the's been there awhile and is not likely to go away any time soon. The roads in the Triangle suck!!! Could there be a worse paving job than that on Hillsborough Street from the Beltline past the Fairgrounds???

  • Taxpayer Jun 1, 2007

    I don't live in Apex and think a 540 toll road is unfair. Why not let the "new group" of paperfree lobbyists hold a fundraiser? After all, they 'claim' to concerned about NC's future!

  • Ladybug Jun 1, 2007

    Until it can be decided that all of 540 will be made "Toll", then it should remain toll-free. Its not fair to punish the people that live in one part of the county to use 540. If it were me, I would remain using the same route as in the past. - Then what are they going to do with 540 and the tolls if others fall suit?

  • IveGotMyOpinion Jun 1, 2007

    I hate tolls, but the toll roads represent important improvements for my commute, and I will utilize them. I'm in favor of moving ahead with these roads with tolls. I will carpool, and that will divide out the cost for our riders. Plus, there might be a discount for carpools as is the case in other states. Gas savings will account for some of the expense too. My commute time will drop by 40% from southern wake county to Durham daily. I urge the legislature to fund the roads as proposed!

  • RaleighRob Jun 1, 2007

    Nothing New-- I think you're mistaking the TTA (Triangle Transit Authority) for the NCTA (NC Turnpike Authority). The TTA just runs buses and van-pools and has nothing to do with this.
    Just a clarification.