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Troubled economy could delay toll road construction

Posted October 15, 2008

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— Unstable financial markets could mean delaying construction on the two remaining sections of the state's first toll road, the Triangle Expressway.

David Joyner, executive director of the North Carolina Turnpike Authority, said Wednesday that the downturn in the economy could delay going to the bond market later this month to raise $600 million for the project.

At this point, no one knows how long a delay could be.

The General Assembly set aside $25 million a year in gap funding to cover the difference between the cost of the project and revenues generated by tolls in the coming years. The bonds are revenue anticapation bonds based on future tolls.

The initial contracts with the two contractors, S.T. Wooten Corp., of Wilson, and the Raleigh-Durham Road Builders, expire in November.

Both parties met with the Turnpike Authority Tuesday to consider extending the terms of the deal. Joyner said he is still confident the project will happen and that a completion date of 2011 is still possible.

The Northern Wake Expressway, the first section of the 18.8-mile Triangle Expressway, opened in July 2007 and stretches 2.8 miles from N.C. Highway 54 in Morrisville to N.C. Highway 55 near Research Triangle Park.

The second leg, the Triangle Parkway, which runs from N.C. 147 in Durham to N.C. 540 in Morrisville could open as early as 2010.

The Western Wake Freeway, from N.C. 55 near Research Triangle Park to N.C. 55 between Holly Springs and Apex, could open as the third section as early as 2011.

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  • chargernut69 Oct 17, 2008

    maybe if we wait long enough, they won't have to make it a toll road? I don't plan on paying to use it when they get it done 5 years from now anyway....

  • killerkestrel Oct 16, 2008

    I don't understand how folks can expect a great highway system when there is no funding for one. Sure there is a little waste, there is in everything. But the NCDOT needs twice the funding than what it is getting. And this isn't just a NC problem. It is a national problem. But people keep complaining about waste. It's like telling a starving person to quit moving so much, and that they wouldn't be starving if they would just sit still. Can't get work done by sitting around.

  • foetine Oct 16, 2008

    The crime in Charlotte is out of control - anyone who paid to see the Charlotte Bobcats were robbed.

    Poor toll road people have to go begging for more cash.

  • davidgnews Oct 15, 2008

    they can pay for it by selling toll house cookies! let them hold a bake sale instead of taxing us

    Great idea, but I sure hope they don't bake the cookies. They won't get that right, either.

  • Lit Oct 15, 2008

    Oh, but they said toll roads were going to magically fix the highway budget issues...yeah right...

  • whatelseisnew Oct 15, 2008

    Yeah sure we need light rail so we can be taxed more to pay for the few people that will ride it. What we need is for these morons to stop putting this State further into debt. What we need is for them to put all the money being captured for the highways to work building and maintaining the highways. They need to complete 540 toll free and then remove that extra 6 cents a gallon from the gas tax they have been collecting since 1989. They have collected more than enough to pay for 540 and the other projects that they were supposed to do with that money. I sure hope we are smart enough to toss the current crop of spendthrifts out of that legislature.

  • saltnsanddefenderofdamiddleclass Oct 15, 2008

    they can pay for it by selling toll house cookies! let them hold a bake sale instead of taxing us

  • manofjustice Oct 15, 2008

    http://www.areaconnect.com/crime/compare.htm?c1=charlotte&s1=NC&c2=raleigh&s2=NC
    smitty

    Stop believing everything you read and believe what I tell you!!!

  • saltnsanddefenderofdamiddleclass Oct 15, 2008

    won't tolls make the illegals mad?

    we can just pay the tolls with change you can believe in...

  • saltnsanddefenderofdamiddleclass Oct 15, 2008

    huh? aren't they raking in enough money in tax dollars? oh, that's right, the highway cash has been used for other things. real important stuff, I'm sure....like european onion rings, hefty pay raises for da governor's wife. let them take the money from the jet that was supposively cancelled and spend it on roads. let them actually cut government "programs" before they tax us with tolls

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