I-485 Toll Lane Map

The toll-lane widening project that began construction on I-77 north of Charlotte this week won’t be the only one in the Charlotte area. Next up are toll lanes on 17 miles of I-485 in south Charlotte, from I-77 to US 74.


The NCDOT hopes to sign a contract for the $200 million project in July. One toll lane is planned in both directions, as a way to guarantee travel times on the congested stretch. Construction would begin in 2017 and take a couple of years.  


A large crowd rallied Saturday against the presence of the Confederate flag on the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse, calling it a “symbol of hate.” Several people spoke at the rally, which lasted more than an hour. The crowd chanted "take it down" and ended the rally by singing "We Shall Overcome."  The rally came three days after the shooting deaths of nine people in a massacre at the black Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.

North Carolina Dept. of Transportation

Mecklenburg County commissioners joined several local town boards Tuesday night  in asking the North Carolina Department of Transportation to delay its deal with a private company to build and operate toll lanes in northern Mecklenburg and southern Iredell counties. On Wednesday, the state gave its answer: No. The state announced it has closed on the financing contract with a subsidiary of Cintra U.S.

Courtesy of NCDOT

Stranded motorists in North Carolina may think a particular insurance company is coming to their rescue. This after the North Carolina Department of Transportation signed its first sponsorship deal, for roadside assistance crews.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region / Flickr

The Yadkin Riverkeeper is challenging the water quality permit for the Monroe Bypass. This is the second case in court that involves the proposed 20-mile toll road.

The lawsuit claims the state failed to consider less destructive alternatives to alleviate traffic congestion on Route 74.

Kym Hunter is an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center, which filed the lawsuit.

"The state has not done a proper assessment of how much worse water quality would get. Essentially NCDOT and the state are taking the position that building this bypass would not bring any new growth to the region and wouldn’t have any impact on water quality."

Courtesy of Matthew Bryant

Eminent domain is one of the most powerful tools of government. It allows state and local governments to force the sale of private land for anything deemed of public use or benefit. In return, however, the state is required to pay just compensation.

North Carolina is one of 13 states that allow its Department of Transportation to effectively control private property that may be turned into a road. This means that just compensation may take years, or in some cases, decades. Part 2 of our series, The State's Domain, examines what's known as the Map Act.

Tom Bullock / WFAE News

A standard real estate deal is based on a simple principle. A willing buyer and a willing seller agree on what both sides see as a fair price.

But there are situations where a buyer can force the sale of property and control almost every step of the purchase. These cases pit private property owners against the state. It's what’s known as eminent domain. 

In The State's Domain, WFAE’s Tom Bullock examines how eminent domain is being used in North Carolina, and the debate those practices have stirred in Raleigh. It's a two-part series. Part one is called The Buyer's Market.

Sun. Headlines: Hearing Tue. on I-77 Suit

Mar 1, 2015

The anti-toll group Widen I-77 will get its first day in court Tuesday as it tries to halt plans to widen I-77 north of Charlotte using toll lanes. The group filed suit January 20th, seeking temporary and permanent injunctions to stop the project.

Mark Hames / Charlotte Observer

Interstate 485 in south Charlotte is now one lane wider in both directions. But there’s enough new pavement on the highway to open an additional lane on both sides. The North Carolina Department of Transportation says it’s up to a local board to decide whether to open those lanes sooner than was originally planned.  

14,000 Run For The Cure In Charlotte

Oct 5, 2014
DeAngelo Williams and sister Garlanda Reed
Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

The weather was nearly perfect Saturday – sunny and in the 60s – when more than 14,000  people joined the 18th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Charlotte.  The 5K race honored breast cancer survivors and raised $1.4 million for breast cancer research.