I-77 toll lane review report released

I-77 toll lane review report released

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The North Carolina Turnpike Authority released a Mercator Advisors' draft Monday of the I-77 Express Lanes contract review.

The review provides a list of options of NCDOT to consider.

Public comments will be reviewed in the final report, which is expected to be released in late summer.

"We encourage members of the public to let us know of anything missed or any inaccuracies," said NC Turnpike Authority Executive Director Beau Memory. "We want to ensure that all concerns are evaluated in this review."

CLICK HERE to read the review of the comprehensive agreement for the I-77 Express Lanes Project

The I-77 toll lanes are being built by Cintra, a Spanish company that will operate the lanes for 50 years once they are opened.

According to a copy of Mercator's presentation posted online by NCDOT last month, the company planned to suggest the following options regarding the state's contract with Cintra:

1. Terminate the contract

2. Modify the contract; here are some possible modifications:

  • Defer or eliminate tolling of certain lanes or segments
  • Establish frequent user discounts
  • Allow HOV-2 for some period of time
  • Eliminate or modify compensation for the building of additional non-tolled infrastructure

3. Work with CRTPO to identify and advance additional improvements to address mobility issues in the corridor, such as:

  • Constructing auxiliary lanes between interchanges or strengthening outside shoulders for peak hour use, and
  • Addressing roadway bottlenecks that hamper movement of trucks

4. Develop preliminary plans to negotiate and finance the purchase of the toll lanes after completion

PREVIOUS: Group reviewing I-77 toll lanes releases initial findings

"Any change to the contract will likely involve some cost. And what we have to do is figure out what the parameters are," said Jim Taylor, with Mercator Advisors. "There are a lot of concern about mobility that have nothing to do with the express lanes or the contract," said Taylor.

Meanwhile, frustration continues to build.

"They just do not understand the effect it is having on our local businesses. We are landlocked," said Michelle Ferlauto, an Anti I-77 toll Advocate.

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