The Charlotte Area’s First Toll Road Officially Opens Today


The Charlotte region’s first toll road is officially opening today.

The new Monroe Expressway (aka Monroe Bypass) is an 18-mile stretch of state highway that parallels HWY-74, which starts in Marshville, NC and ends in Matthews, NC, near I-485.

Here is a video flyover of the project, produced 5 years ago when it was first approved;

The purpose of the bypass is to ease the traffic flow between Charlotte and the South Eastern parts of our state, and the eventual plan is to connect one major highway, without any stop lights, from Charlotte to Myrtle Beach.

The new project is now expected to open on November 27 at a total cost of $730 million.

It’s an 18-mile stretch that parallels HWY-74, moving East to West starting in Marshville and ending near I-485.

According to Beau Memory, Executive Director of the NC Turnpike Authority, travel times in the area will be significantly reduced.

“Depending on where people are traveling to and from, our estimates are that it could save folks anywhere from 20 to 40 mins,” Memory commented.

The bypass will have a total of 6 interchanges and 14 electric toll zones, with a total cost of $3.92 to drive the entire length (which is relatively low, compared to the $9.40 Cintra will charge to drive from Charlotte to Mooresville on the new I-77 toll lanes).

You can also save an additional 35% by using an NC QuickPass (click here to sign up).

Once the fees pay off the initial cost of the Expressway the tolls will go away, however, that’s not expected until sometime after 2050.

What are your thoughts on the new Monroe Expressway?