Turnpike Authority awards toll system contracts

Posted December 18, 2009

— The North Carolina Turnpike Authority on Friday awarded $37.6 million in contracts to develop the electronic toll-collection system planned for the Triangle Expressway, the state's first toll road.

The contracts came in $9 million under budget, Transportation Secretary Gene Conti said.

“These contracts will provide a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional toll booths and ensure faster and safer trips for drivers who choose to use the Triangle Expressway,” Conti said in a statement.

The first section of the three-part, 18.8-mile Triangle Expressway – N.C. Highway 540 between N.C. Highway 54 in Morrisville and N.C. Highway 55 near Research Triangle Park – opened two years ago, and drivers have been using it toll-free since then.

The 3.4-mile Triangle Parkway from Interstate 40 and the Durham Freeway to N.C. 540 is expected to open in 2011, while the 12.6-mile, $446 million Western Wake Freeway, which will connect N.C. 540 to the N.C. 55 Bypass in Holly Springs in expected to be complete by the end of 2012.

Affiliated Computer Services Inc. won the $14.2 million toll-collection system contract. ACS will design, develop and install the automated system, including all toll-related hardware and software on the roadway, optical character recognition software and the main computer server and database.

ACS also won an $8 million contract to design and implement a system to process customer accounts, handle billing and produce a customer relations Web site.

URS Corp. was awarded the $15.3 million contract to manage and staff all customer service facilities and related activities.

The price of the tolls has yet to be determined, but the Western Wake design team estimates it could be about 10 cents to 20 cents per mile.


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  • homatpres Dec 22, 2009

    Who's the idiot that selected an optical scanning system vs. a transponder like EZ-Pass? So a company gets a fat contract for an archaic system that won't function at high speed, and has nothing in common with the multitude of states using EZ-Pass! Then DOT will spend a fortune in five years to change over to EZ-Pass as the tollroads incraese in NC? Brilliant! Good job, NC governemnt. Whose pocket are you lining this week?

  • james27613 Dec 21, 2009

    The notion of electronic tolling had been considered as early as the 1980s, particularly in the New York metropolitan area. The tolling agencies of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania—which constitute two-thirds of the United States' $3 billion-a-year toll industry—sought to create a compatible electronic-tolling technology that could be used on the toll roads and bridges of the three states, in an effort to reduce congestion on some of the busiest roadways and toll plazas in the United States. In 1991, the E-ZPass IAG was created to develop an interoperable system, and involved the participation and cooperation of seven independent toll agencies—The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, The New Jersey Turnpike Authority, The New Jersey Highway Authority (operator of the Garden State Parkway at the time), the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the New York State Thruway Authority, The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, and the South Jersey Transportation

  • james27613 Dec 21, 2009

    This is another classic political ram it down our throats even if we do not want it project.

    Just like the Beacon payroll fiasco, they have to design it from scratch instead of purchasing the right stuff the first time and just make simple modifications.
    Instead of Beacon they should have used the same software that
    the universities all use, PeopleSoft.

    EZPass not cheap either but it works right out of the box.

  • egwralcom Dec 18, 2009

    Wow. Many other state already have turnpike/toll systems. Do we really have to design one from scratch? What a waste of money.

  • thewayitis Dec 18, 2009

    Bah, Humbug! The people never got to vote on this. WE DON'T WANT IT!

  • pbjbeach Dec 18, 2009

    If mr CONTIis so happy about the contract price comming in under the estimated cost then why are there at least three other additional contracts envolved into th overall cost of this project in the amount of an additional 37.5 million dollars in other added on contract itemsdealing with the biling of it's customers that will actually be using this wasteful freeway that the general public has practicaly sworn off of already of not using it. if this does indeed happen what will then happen to this boondoogle. i kniow the taxpyares will again be held responsibly for this total boondoggle an the expense of it all. in my personal estimation mr conti should be immedately fired for his sheer stupity thank you

  • noreplytome2 Dec 18, 2009

    No doubt. First they bring their idea of "turnabouts", now the yankees are bringing their toll roads down here. How long till you people get tired of your "good ideas" and move out again? It's almost enough to make a decent person move to NY to escape all the yankees! =)

  • nealwest10 Dec 18, 2009

    Why not just use EZPass, like every other state does- not some custom solution?????????

  • twc Dec 18, 2009

    No doubt that once they get their claws in you this will mushroom!
    It will spread very quickly, also. Nothing short of an additional tax.

    Follow the money! There will be even more corruption in NC government than there is now!