Local News

Toll-collection contract awarded for Triangle Expressway

Posted May 4, 2010 3:10 p.m. EDT

— The North Carolina Turnpike Authority has awarded a contract for electronic toll collection on the 18.8-mile Triangle Expressway, which will be North Carolina's first toll road.

TransCore, a subsidiary of Roper Industries, won a $5.9 million contract to install, implement and maintain an automated, radio-frequency-identification system for toll collection.

"We are proud that North Carolina will have one of the most technologically advanced toll operations in the nation," Transportation Secretary Gene Conti said in a statement. "The implementation of this wireless system will provide motorists with seamless travel by allowing them to pay tolls at highway speeds."

TransCore's bid was $1.5 million below estimates, and its technology will be used for other toll facilities in the state, transportation officials said.

Transponders will be the preferred method of payment for the cashless toll system, but drivers will also be able to be billed.

Sensors at toll stations will record when vehicles with transponders pass by, and tolls will be deducted from prepaid accounts. If a vehicle does not have a transponder, cameras will take a picture of its license plate, and a bill will be sent to the registered owner.

The price of the tolls has yet to be determined, but designers estimate it could be about 10 cents to 20 cents per mile.

Earlier, Affiliated Computer Services won a $14.2 million contract to develop toll-related hardware and software, including optical character recognition software and the main computer server and database, and a $8 million contract to produce a customer-relations Web site and to design a system to process customer accounts and handle billing. URS Corp. won a $15.3 million contract to manage and staff all customer service facilities and related activities.

The Triangle Expressway will run from existing N.C. Highway 540 in western Wake County south of Interstate 40 to the N.C. Highway 55 Bypass in Holly Springs. It is expected to open in 2012.

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