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Easley Will Not Approve I-95 Toll Booths

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North Carolina Department of Transportation

will have to find a new way to pay for highway improvements on I-95.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Easley said he will not approve any legislation that would authorize collecting tolls on the interstate.

Easley's announcement came just days after Secretary of Transportation Lyndo Tippett proposed the idea of toll booths on I-95 as an alternative way to pay for improvements on the highway.

The highway runs for 180 miles through the state, from near Roanoke Rapids to near Lumberton, and serves as a major East Coast traffic artery.

Easley said he will not block the state transportation secretary from seeking authority from Washington to impose tolls on the highway. But Easley would have to approve legislation authorizing tolls on I-95, and spokeswoman Cari Boyce said that will not happen.

A state consultant's report showed that several sections show the strains of a highway that has not been significantly expanded for more than 20 years, despite increased traffic.

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