Traffic

Triangle not alone in adding toll roads

Posted September 6, 2012 1:24 p.m. EDT
Updated September 6, 2012 3:58 p.m. EDT

The Triangle Expressway in western Wake County offers two methods of toll collection.

North Carolina got its first toll road earlier this year with the opening of the Triangle Expressway. When completed, the expressway will extend about 18 miles from Research Triangle Park to Holly Springs.

The first phase of the project officially opened last December, but began collecting tolls just after the New Year. It connects N.C. Highway 147 south to Interstate 40 and Interstate 540.

Phase two opened up in August and connects N.C. 540 between N.C. 54 and U.S. 64 in Apex.

The final phase, expected to open in January, will connect N.C. 540 between U.S. 64 and N.C. 55 Bypass in Holly Springs

Raleigh Public Record compared the TriEx, as it’s lovingly called, against other toll roads in the Southeast. 

TriEx

Where: Wake and Durham counties, North Carolina
Connects: N.C. 147 south to N.C. 55 Bypass (when completed)
Miles: 18 (when completed)
Toll Rates: Ranges from 30 cents to 65 cents per toll zone with an N.C. Quick Pass. Ranges between 45 cents and $1.25 per zone if billed by mail.
Fun Facts: The project cost is about $1 billion and is the first toll road in North Carolina. North Carolina is the last state in the region to implement a toll road.

Southern Connector

Where: Greenville, S.C.
Connects: The southern portion of Interstate 185 to Interstate-385
Miles: 16
Toll Rates: Pal Pass rates are 75 cents to $2.70. If paying cash, 75 cents to $3.00.
Fun Facts: It is one of two toll roads in South Carolina. The other is in Hilton Head. The Southern Connector has brought in $3.3 million so far this year. In 2010, the association responsible for the road filed bankruptcy.

GA 400

Where: Atlanta, Ga.
Connects: Interstate 85 and U.S. 19. But, tolls are only collected from I-85 to Interstate 285.
Miles: 6.2
Toll Rates: 50 cents paid by cash or Cruise Card.
Fun Facts: The road brings in about $59,000 per day. Construction of part of the highway caused an outcry by residents and many homes were taken through eminent domain.

The Veterans Expressway – State Road 589

Where: Tampa, Fla.
Connects: Courtney Campbell Causeway west of Tampa International Airport to Dale Marbry Highway in Hillsborough County
Miles: 15
Toll Rates: $1.25 with SunPass, $1.75 with cash.
Fun Facts: This portion is a small part of the 41-mile Suncoast Parkway. The Suncoast Parkway has a multi-use recreation trail that provides safe bicycle and pedestrian commuting.

Foley Beach Express

Where: Orange Beach, Ala.
Connects: Alternative to Highway 59
Miles: 14
Toll Rates: $3.50 for cash. Discounts vary, but the basic Alabama Freedom Pass charge is $3.00.
Fun Facts: The Beach Express toll is privately operated. The website claims that drivers can avoid 25 lights by using the highway.