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Toll could pay for Triangle Expressway quicker

Posted July 14, 2009
Updated July 29, 2009

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— With a $386 million federal loan approved this week and $624 million in newly sold bonds, construction to finish North Carolina's first toll road will likely begin as early as next month.

And with a better-than-expected bond market, motorists won't have to pay as long for the 18.8-mile, $1.1 billion Triangle Expressway, the North Carolina Turnpike Authority says.

Tolls received from the Triangle Expressway's three sections – the Northern Wake Expressway, the Triangle Parkway and Western Wake Freeway – will go to repay the bonds, which were sold Monday and Tuesday, in 30 years instead of the earlier-estimated 39 years.

The federal loan, announced Monday, will be paid back in 32 years at a 4.3 percent interest rate – lower than the anticipated 4.7 percent rate.

Construction could be complete as early as 2012 and will use a no-stop, cashless toll system. Tolls could cost up to 28 cents a mile.

For some motorists, like Jetame Shaw, who lives near the future toll road, the news of a shorter pay period is still too long.

She doesn't plan on paying to drive.

“I will probably come right around the back roads,” she said.

Other Triangle drivers, however, said they are willing to pay for extra for the convenience and time saved.

"If I can make the trek and I have to pay a couple extra dollars, I am going to do it,” said Rick Harland, who is from New York.

The Northern Wake Expressway – the first of the three sections of the Triangle Expressway to open – stretches 2.8 miles from N.C. Highway 54 in Morrisville to N.C. Highway 55 near the Research Triangle Park.

The 3.4-mile Triangle Parkway, which runs from N.C. Highway 147 in Durham to N.C. Highway 540 in Morrisville, could open as early as 2011. S. T. Wooten Corp., of Wilson, bid $135.4 million for the project.

The Raleigh/Durham Road Builders bid more than $446 million for the Western Wake Freeway, which runs 12.6-miles from N.C. 55 near Research Triangle Park to N.C. 55 between Holly Springs and Apex. It could open by 2012.

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  • cyndavaz Jul 29, 2009

    "And with a better-than-expected bond market, motorists won't have to pay as long for the 18.8-mile, $1.1 billion Triangle Expressway, the North Carolina Turnpike Authority says."

    Oh, good grief. Do these jokers think we're stupid? This toll will turn into a permanent fixture on the road, continually sucking money away from motorists. And I'll make sure to avoid whatever roadways they're on because they're not getting anything extra from me if I can help it.

  • CrewMax Jul 15, 2009

    By the time the road is ready all the RTP jobs will have been moved to China and India and there won't be a need to drive that route, except to get on I-40 to leave town.

  • james27613 Jul 15, 2009

    If you drive 10 miles one way then your looking at $ 2.80
    twice a day, $ 5.60 each day, $ 28 a week,
    $ 112 a month or $ 1,400 for 50 weeks of the year.

    Forget about it.

  • foetine Jul 15, 2009

    if you don't want to pay the toll, all you have to do is throw a little dirty water on your plate so the camera can't properly read the digits. Or angle the plate so it tilts down. There will be plenty of sites telling you how to scam this system because it is so stupid.

  • cameragirl Jul 15, 2009

    OK, these companies bid for the job. In the agreement that DOT signs with them it should be made clear that not another penny above the bid price will be paid to them and that the job must be done professionally and made to last at least 20 years. I hope that the same thing that happened to 40 does not happen to this new road.

    A notice should go out to bidders that says something like this: IF YOU BID THE CONTRACT BE SURE THAT YOU INCORPORATE ALL OF YOUR COSTS BECAUSE THE STATE OF NC WILL NOT INCUR ADDITIONAL EXPENSES ABOVE WHAT WAS STATED IN YOUR BID!!!!

  • IzzMad2016 Jul 15, 2009

    "Yuk.. No way. Now grits AND country ham with red-eye gravy."

    OK but my cholesterol spike is on you. I did have some cheesy shrimp and grits last Christmas that a friend made and I actually went back for seconds. There's hope for me, I guess.

  • Timbo Jul 15, 2009

    "OK....I'll try (again), but if it doesn't work out would Cream of Wheat be an acceptable substitution? "

    Yuk.. No way. Now grits AND country ham with red-eye gravy.

  • charlesboyer Jul 15, 2009

    "Don't want a toll on 540? Wait till 2015 (or later when construction costs more than it does today) when you will have paid enough to justify it. Northern Wake county did that (and Eastern Wake after that), which is why 540 is free through there."

    You cannot seriously be claiming that there are more people living in eastern Wake County than in Apex, Fuquay-Varina and Holly Springs.

    If you are, please show us some proof.

  • patriotsrevenge Jul 15, 2009

    I know there's a petition to stop the toll road, is there a lawsuit in the works (I hope)...I will donate to the legal fund if there is.

  • IzzMad2016 Jul 15, 2009

    "No, you can stay, but you have to start eating grits."

    OK....I'll try (again), but if it doesn't work out would Cream of Wheat be an acceptable substitution? :o)

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