NCDOT secretary: Cooper hasn't ruled out future toll roads

RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) - Secretary of Transportation Jim Trogdon told members of the North Carolina Senate that neither he nor his boss, Governor Roy Cooper, have ruled out using tolls to fund future road projects.

The statement came during Trogdon's confirmation hearing before the Senate Transportation Committee held Tuesday afternoon. Trogdon was appointed to head the North Carolina Department of Transportation by Cooper in January.

Sen. Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick) asked Trogdon "where the department stands or how (Trogdon) feel(s) about tolls going forward."

Trogdon's response indicated he and Governor Cooper supported the use of tolls in the future.

"As a 30-year transportation professional, my opinion is we have to have every tool available to us and tolls are one of those tools that we use to fund innovative financing and fund the acceleration of projects so we don't have to wait a long period of time," Trogdon said.

"In my conversation with the governor, he has not directed me to exclude any of those tools," he continued.

In asking his question, Rabon indicated he supported the increased use of toll roads to fund road projects across the state. Rabon also pointed out that Cooper campaigned for governor on a platform that included opposition to the I-77 toll lanes project.

"I do not think we're in conflict," Trogdon told Rabon regarding his support of tolls. "We want to make sure we're applying those tools correctly and efficiently for the good of our state."

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