WBTV Speak Out Editorial: A Troubled Road Ahead - | WBTV Charlotte

WBTV Speak Out Editorial: A Troubled Road Ahead

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“Speak Out” is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Scott Dempsey.

Construction moves forward on the future toll lanes along I-77, despite an ongoing battle to try and kill the project altogether.

That battle has played out in other states, where Cintra – the company that's building the lanes here – has operated toll roads.

A recent WBTV investigation into those roads revealed some troubling concerns.

In Indiana, skyrocketing tolls and fees led to a decline in cars on the roads…leading to a drop in revenue.

To make up for that, Cintra’s subsidiary raised the price of tolls before eventually declaring bankruptcy.

A similar thing happened in Chicago, where declining ridership meant rising tolls and financial troubles, before Cintra sold its rights to a 99-year lease.

And in Texas, Cintra currently owns a highway that parallels a free state-run interstate. When our reporter drove that toll road, it was virtually empty.

So here’s an obvious question:  Who dropped that ball when it came to investigating Cintra’s track record BEFORE the NCDOT hired them for the job?

You wouldn’t hire a contractor for your home without checking out their references.

So why didn’t the state do the proper research before signing a multi-billion dollar contract?

Our State Legislators are the only ones who can stop the I-77 toll lane project now.

Let your voice be heard before it’s too late.

Tell us what YOU think. SpeakOut@wbtv.com

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