I-77

David Boraks / CorneliusNews.net

As the debate over toll lanes on I-77 has increased in the last year, the company that will build and operate those tolls had refused to answer WFAE questions about the project until financing was completed. The state announced May 20 that it had closed on those financing agreements with I-77 Mobility Partners.   Construction is scheduled to begin this summer.

With financing complete, the CEO of I-77 Mobility Partners,  Javier Tamargo, agreed to an interview with WFAE’s Mark Rumsey. I-77 Mobility Partners is a subsidiary of the Spanish company Cintra Infrastructures, and has a 50-year contract with the North Carolina Department of Transportation to build, maintain and collect tolls on the expanded lanes from exit 36 in Mooresville to exit 10 near Uptown Charlotte.

The interview lasted roughly 25 minutes. What follows is the interview in its entirety, minus minor edits. Below that is the edited interview that aired during All Things Considered. We’ve also separated the audio for different topics that were discussed.


Tom Bullock/WFAE News

Mecklenburg County commissioners resoundingly approved a resolution Tuesday urging Gov. Pat McCrory and the state’s transportation department to delay by 90 days next week’s closing of a financial contract to build toll lanes on Interstate 77.

John D. Simmons / Charlotte Observer

The N.C. Department of Transportation’s contract with a private developer to build toll lanes on Interstate 77 includes a controversial noncompete clause that could hinder plans to build new free lanes on the highway for 50 years.

The clause has long been part of the proposed contract. But it was changed in late 2013 or early 2014 to also include two new free lanes around Lake Norman – an important $431 million project supported by local transportation planners.

I-77 Toll Road

Sep 16, 2014
NCDOT / Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Charlotte is about to get its first toll road. It appears the deal is done despite ongoing opposition. A private company will build toll lanes on I-77 and have the rights to operate them for 50 years. This costly project will include the replacement of several bridges to accommodate the lanes. We talk to North Carolina Department of Transportation officials about the toll lanes. 

Jonathan Cox/DavidsonNews.net

Construction on I-77 toll lanes between Charlotte and Mooresville is expected to begin next year. More than 120 people came out to Mooresville to learn about the lanes and sign petitions to stop the project. The meeting was organized by the group Widen I-77, which is against the toll lanes.


Nick de la Canal/WFAE

 If driving down I-77 is part of your daily commute, you’ll probably agree a solution is needed for the growing congestion on the interstate. North Carolina’s Department of Transportation intends to add toll lanes to ease traffic and potentially provide the state with extra income. But as the plan enters its final stages, the state is experiencing some significant pushback.


Stantec/NCDOT

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is hoping to relieve congestion on I-77 by adding two toll lanes. NCDOT officials came to the Charlotte Chamber Wednesday to talk up the project, but as WFAE’s Nick de la Canal reports, there are still basic questions that haven’t been answered.

  DOT officials made a hard sell to the Regional Transportation Committee Wednesday for adding toll lanes between Charlotte and Mooresville on I-77.

DOT Signs 1-77 Widening Contract With Cintra

Jun 26, 2014
David Boraks / CorneliusNews.net file photo

The NC Department of Transportation said Thursday it has signed a preliminary contract with Spanish construction giant Cintra Infraestructures to widen 26 miles of I-77 north of Charlotte using high-occupancy toll lanes, or HOT lanes. North Carolina will contribute $88 million in public money to the $655 million project under the 50-year deal.

See the full announcement below.

North Carolina Dept. of Transportation

The North Carolina Department of Transportation plans to sign a contract with a private company to build and operate toll lanes on I-77 between Lake Norman and Uptown Charlotte. But some lawmakers want more answers from the DOT before the state finalizes its agreement.


Study Shows I-77 Toll Lane Trip Could Top Out At $11

Jun 23, 2014
Stantec/NCDOT

A 2012 study indicates a trip between uptown Charlotte and Mooresville on an express toll lane could cost between $9 to $11 during rush hour.

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