State awards contract for high-occupancy toll lanes in Charlotte | News
News
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Friday, June 27, 2014

State awards contract for high-occupancy toll lanes in Charlotte

Posted by on Fri, Jun 27, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Last year, the Indy reported that North Carolina transportation leaders were moving on a controversial plan to construct high-occupancy toll lanes, better known as HOT lanes, for a congested portion of I-77 north of Charlotte. On Thursday, the N.C. Department of Transportation finalized that deal, signing off on a contract with Spanish-based transit company Cintra.

DOT agreed to a public-private partnership with the group to build and operate HOT lanes on about 26 miles of I-77 stretching from uptown Charlotte to the Lake Norman area. That stretch of roadway is known to be one of the most congested areas in the state.

HOT lanes allow drivers to choose whether they want to pay a toll to travel a guaranteed speed of 45 mph. The private company will set the toll rates, which fluctuate up or down depending on traffic. With the cash-strapped state facing about $45 billion in needed highway improvements between 2015 and 2020, both supporters and opponents say HOT lanes could be the future of congestion relief across the state, including in the Triangle.

“This project provides an innovative and comprehensive solution to existing and future congestion in this corridor,” said NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata in a statement. “Utilizing the public-private partnership concept is allowing us to improve nearly 26 miles of I-77 in just a few years, not in decades. This expansion will provide an option for reliable travel time while addressing long-term mobility concerns.”

The state will spend about $88 million on the project, with Cintra paying the remaining $655 million in exchange for toll revenues. Officials say the project will be complete within four years. N.C. House of Representatives Speaker Thom Tillis, a Republican from Charlotte, was a major proponent.

Opponents, however, note HOT lanes have done little to ease congestion when implemented in other states such as Georgia. Citizen groups such as Widen I-77 have called for leaders to instead increase the number of general purpose lanes on the busy highway.

On Thursday, those HOT lane critics reaffirmed their opposition. “This project has been characterized by inconsistency, misrepresentation and a disregard for the taxpayer’s money,” said Widen I-77 spokesman Kurt Naas.

Tags: ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

Hello.
My name is JIMMY LOOF ,i have been living with my wife for some years now,she has been keeping …

by JIMMY looof on UNC Students Walk Out in Inauguration Protest (News)

Will be interested to see what symbol for solidarity with John Lewis looks like ...maybe we at home could wear …

by Dolly Butler on Price Going to Inaguration, But Will Wear 'Symbol' on Lapel (News)

Re: "... women in the state already make less on average than their male counterparts...."

Most women's advocates seem …

by MaleMatters on Pennies on the Dollar: A Tour of the North Carolina’s Gender-Wage Gap (News)

"Furthermore, laws that mandate special workplace benefits to pregnant women are sexist towards men and biased against single people.."

by vidvis on Pennies on the Dollar: A Tour of the North Carolina’s Gender-Wage Gap (News)

Well there's a reason for this. Per the GAO, women work fewer and more flexible hours, doing less quantitative and …

by Edward Teach on Pennies on the Dollar: A Tour of the North Carolina’s Gender-Wage Gap (News)

Comments

Hello.
My name is JIMMY LOOF ,i have been living with my wife for some years now,she has been keeping …

by JIMMY looof on UNC Students Walk Out in Inauguration Protest (News)

Will be interested to see what symbol for solidarity with John Lewis looks like ...maybe we at home could wear …

by Dolly Butler on Price Going to Inaguration, But Will Wear 'Symbol' on Lapel (News)

© 2017 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation