Another driver was detoured on I-77, took the express lanes, and was billed

Updated: Jan. 29, 2021 at 8:27 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Another driver is outraged after he said he was detoured on I-77 and billed for it.

This is the fourth report WBTV has covered on this very same problem, but it keeps happening.

Nobody likes to get a bill from the NCDOT. Not even for $0.62. It’s not so much about the money but about not paying for something you’re not responsible for.

Since June, Mark Zenow, Benjamin Curtis and Kim Watson have all reached out to WBTV after they were detoured into the express lanes and had to pay for it.

You can now add Todd Bodell to that list.

“I was driving home from work and due to construction, I was detoured on the North Carolina Quick Pass toll road,” Bodell said.

Bodell says he was traveling on I-77 northbound headed from Charlotte to Statesville when he was detoured on I-77 northbound from Sam Furr to Griffith.

He says there was construction after exit 25, so he had to take the toll roads.

“Griffith was the first point where I could get back onto the 77 northbound.”

Then in November, he got a bill for $0.62 from NC Quick Pass.

“And I thought it was odd, because I don’t have an account with Quick Pass. I don’t have a transponder and with the exception of that one time, I’ve never even driven on the toll road.”

He inquired about it and says NC Quick Pass told him to file a dispute, so he did that and didn’t pay the bill.

But then in December, he got another bill for $6.62, which included a processing fee added to the previous invoice total.

Eventually, when Bodell called back in late December, “they couldn’t give me an answer, they just said that my bill was now zero - that there wasn’t any charge on it.”

But that’s not enough resolution for Bodell.

WBTV reached out to the NCDOT to find out why this situation keeps on happening.

I-77 Mobility Partners sent a statement saying they asked the state to zero out Bodell’s account:

“Mr. Bodell entered I-77 Express shortly before the time tolls were discontinued, and I-77 Mobility Partners informed NCTA to credit his account for the toll.”

But the NC Turnpike Authority said the company didn’t act fast enough and a bill was sent before the charges were removed:

“I-77 Mobility Partners did not remove transactions incurred during a detour from the transactions being sent to NC Quick Pass, therefore generating a toll bill.”

WBTV asked Senator Vickie Sawyer what she’s doing in this new session to address the issue.

“I think we need to look at what’s going on, and in this next session, when we’re back in Raleigh, to make sure that this continues not to happen,” said Sawyer.

She also said she thinks over-communication is key and that maybe the NCDOT could do a better job of over-communicating when those detours are going to happen.

For Bodell, it’s simple.

“I just don’t want people getting ripped off.”

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