"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.