Turnpike Authority awards toll system contracts

Posted December 18, 2009 6:07 p.m. EST

— 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.