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ICYMI: More toll lanes proposed for I-77



Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization is eyeing more toll lanes on I-77, this time between Brookshire Freeway and the South Carolina line.

  • The Technical Coordinating Committee, made up of transportation department representatives, is expected to report back to the board in September.

What’s happening: A private developer approached the N.C. Department of Transportation in February about constructing south express lanes on a 9.4-mile stretch.

  • At the request of CRTPO members concerned about transparency, Cintra recently revealed it submitted the unsolicited proposal.

Flashback: Cintra was behind the hotly contended toll lanes on I-77 from I-277 to Mooresville, which opened in 2019 after multiple years of construction headaches.

Details: This new proposal would add two fast express lanes each way on the southern portion of the interstate.

  • Plans include upgrades to the six existing “general purpose lanes” — otherwise thought of as the “free” lanes.
  • Bus rapid transit could use the express lanes without charges, according to Cintra’s proposal.

By the numbers: As fiscally constrained as it is, NCDOT could benefit from leveraging private dollars for the estimated $2.3-billion project.

  • Cintra estimates NCDOT would save more than $58 million per year by turning the maintenance of the segment over to the company for five decades, while taking home a $211-million concession payment.

What’s next: If the CRTPO board supports the project, NCDOT will evaluate the unsolicited proposal itself.

  • Although Cintra initiated the concept, the state transportation department would still seek out bids for the project in a “transparent process,” according to an NCDOT spokesperson.
  • Cintra estimates it could start design and construction by mid-2024 and open by July 2029.

The post ICYMI: More toll lanes proposed for I-77 appeared first on Axios Charlotte.

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