More toll roads in N.C.'s future?

Posted November 7, 2008
Updated November 8, 2008

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— Lifting the state's gas-tax cap and increasing vehicle registration fees are two of a number of options on the table to help generate $1 billion in funding over the next 10 years for state roads.

Another option the General Assembly could consider when it receives recommendations from the North Carolina 21st Century Transportation Committee next month is putting tolls on some of the state's major highways, including Interstates 95, 77, 40 and 85.

Earlier this week, the committee discussed a border-to-border toll on I-95 to support 180 miles of widening by an additional two lanes in each direction. The cost would be about $6 billion.

"No one can see $6 billion flowing into the transportation coffers in the short-term," said Brad Wilson, who chairs the committee. "So, that leads us to the conclusion that tolling must seriously be considered."

Tolls on I-77 from the South Carolina border to I-40 in Statesville would bring more than $1 billion to widen the roadway to two lanes in each direction.

And funds generated from tolls on other highways would go only for improvements on those highways.

Wilson said Triangle motorists would not necessarily feel the impact on their highways, because the tolls would be located at the state line to capture out-of-state motorists.

Some in-state drivers are cautiously open to the idea.

"Well, basically, I don't like toll roads, but that would be a way of letting the people who use it pay for it," said motorist Don Ledford.

The state, however, must get permission from the federal government before charging interstate drivers.

I-95 is the only interstate that has received approval for tolls.

North Carolina could open its first toll road as early as 2011. The Triangle Expressway would connect the Durham Freeway with the existing part of N.C. 540, then extend 540 to Holly Springs.


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  • goobnav Nov 10, 2008

    How about this, why don't we just march on Raleigh and demand redress of greivences and initiate the referendum. In other words put it up to the people to decide. Who am I kidding this last election, along with the others, were bought and paid for by the same people who brought you the last 6 administrations. All I can say is I'm glad I didn't participate in the farce of the election.

  • SheriffTruman Nov 10, 2008

    Too bad McCrory was defeated by Purdue. Now we will see no real change in road policy for years to come.

    Also, not sure waiting on Obama's infrastructure plan will do much good as there is just no way the Feds can find the kind of money talked about here for every state. I am sure they can fix or replace some bridges here and there, but not replace every state highway dept.

  • killerkestrel Nov 10, 2008

    Where is all this mismanagement happening? I see some, but no where near enough to make up the shortfall. Each Senator and Represenative has a portion of money that they can spend on projects they want, like turn lanes for schools and access for businesses. The Secretary of Transportation gets a chunk too. And the transfer to the general fund was put in by a republican when the vehicle sales tax was moved to pay for transportation, and recently they have started to phase this transfer out.

    But it doesn't matter what you do to a quarter when you need fifty cents! To maintain the roads and build the roads that the public asks for, more money is needed. Sure, there are mistakes that happen, but this happens in every business. When is the last time you bought something, and had to return it because it didn't work? Are some due to bad leadership, sure. But you can't continue to sell something for $5 when it costs $10! More revenue is needed. But I hate tolls too. Adds overhead.

  • MizzZeta Nov 7, 2008

    I would rather see toll roads than an increase in registration fees or an increase in the gasoline tax. I'm especailly sensitive to the registration fee issue because so many people in my neighborhood are here from other states and have never registered their vehicles in NC. Toll roads would hold all travelers -instead of just NC residents- accountable for the condition of our roads.

  • sheepdog Nov 7, 2008

    If I remember my NC history correctly NC has never had a toll road. It is a shame that NC cannot manage its money better to uphold that tradition. Other than the historical precedence it makes no difference to me!

  • davidgnews Nov 7, 2008

    I hear ya, BIGCHEESE, but they won't use tolls to offset any taxes, either.

    Lyndo needs to be retired, along with a host of others. These patronage jobs need to seriously end if they expect to think that the public sees any of them as credible.

    DOT has yet to really clean house - all they do is pay for "studies," move a few things around, and hope no one notices the big lump of dirt under the rug.

  • hi_i_am_wade Nov 7, 2008

    Us: "Dear NC, how much tax money do you need."
    NC: "Just a little more."
    Us: "Okay ... (one year later) Dear NC, how much tax money do you need."
    NC: "Just a little more."
    Us: "Okay ... (one year later) Dear NC, how much tax money do you need."
    NC: "Just a little more."
    Us: "WAIT A MINUTE! You always need just a little more!"


    I am all for the toll roads. The people that use them can pay for them. If I use them to travel then I shall pay the price. If I choose to go back roads or country roads then I shall not be paying them. If you are in a hurry and want to save time, you have to pay for them. This also means all those "big"rigs and trucks can fork out money as well since they do cause the roads to be rough. We need more lanes on I-95. Its nice in GA and FLA because they have nice wide 3 to 5 lane areas of interstate. You people who work in RTP can afford it.

  • Fx432 Nov 7, 2008

    Oh please, will you tax us more? We look so forward to paying more for big government.

  • foetine Nov 7, 2008

    Why are they the 21st Century Transportation Committee? Is there a 20th Century Trans committee that sits around remembering great roads from 8 years ago? Why do we was money pumping extra letters onto their name?

    It's all about sticking it to us while they collect favors and graft from their brother-in-law's paving company