At yesterday’s Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization meeting, NC Secretary of Transportation, Jim Trogdon announced a new independent review of the I-77 toll lanes.
He was careful to note that the review would be performed by an independent agency that had no prior involvement with the toll lanes in the past. He also noted that the contract with the independent company would be completed by next week.
It’s unclear at this point if the results of a review could ultimately stop the toll lane project, or if it would just be a way for the NCDOT to appease Lake Norman area voters after all the controversy.
“I personally regret that this has become a divisive issue in this community over the last three years. We can’t change what got us here but we can change where we go next,” Trogdon commented at yesterday’s meeting.
This ‘toll lane review’ is the second of its kind in less than a month. Republican Senator Jeff Tarte also ordered a separate independent review back on February 29th.
In his press release, Senator Tarte noted that, “it is generally acknowledged that this contract has many issues and would not be a template for future state contracts. It is time to ensure all the rules, procedures, protocols and guidelines associated with the RFP and contract were followed in accordance with state and federal laws. If any material issues are identified during this audit we can determine the appropriate action(s) to remedy such. A desired outcome from this exercise will be improvements to future state contractual provisions to optimize the benefits and protect the interests of the citizens of our great state.
The toll lanes have now been under construction for over a year. If they are completed, they will stretch from uptown Charlotte to Mooresville for 26 miles, offering drivers the option to pay a fee to drive in less-congested lanes.
How do you feel about the I-77 toll lanes?