Local Politics

Toll Road Measure Resurfaces, But Comes Up Short

Posted August 3, 2007 12:05 a.m. EDT
Updated August 3, 2007 9:35 a.m. EDT

— House lawmakers had a change of heart Thursday when leaders gave the North Carolina Turnpike Authority $20 million to help create the state’s first toll road. However, the measure did not pass the Senate.

Earlier, leaders believed they did not have a concensus on the measure, but it re-surfaced and passed as representatives reached the end of the legislative road. Lawmakers are considering holding a special session before May to discuss transportation funding.

That was just one of many last-minute votes taken Thursday night.  Lawmakers also voted on a new law that will crack down on speeders. That bill had seemed dead after a vote Wednesday night.

“We want the roads to be a safer place for people to drive, families to be on, and we know that there have been deaths as a result of excessive speeding that hasn’t been dealt with,” said Rep. Rick Glazier, D-Cumberland.

Lawmakers said the bill closes loopholes that allow speeders to drive away with lenient penalties.

“This is a firm step to make sure that people who drive at excessive rates of speed in this state are stopped,” Glazier said.

Lawmakers also passed a bill that puts tighter environmental restrictions on future landfills. Landfills will no longer be allowed within 200 feet of a stream or within two miles of a state park. The bill kills plans for three proposed landfills down east.

“Landfills across the state operate well in neighborhoods and towns. There is no reason for this arbitrary requirement,” said solid waste lobbyist David Barnes.