North Carolina prepares for 2nd toll project at Charlotte

Staff Writer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Transportation officials are working on a proposed contract for a second toll road project in the Charlotte area.

The state plans to award a contract for the addition of toll lanes on parts of Interstate 485, The Charlotte Observer reported (http://bit.ly/1MUVzLZ).

The move comes as some state lawmakers are urging officials to cancel a contract to build toll lanes on I-77 north of Charlotte.

The Department of Transportation plans to award the contract in July. Construction could begin in early 2017 and be completed in about two years, the DOT said.

A number of officials are upset that the toll lanes on I-77 north of Charlotte will be managed by a private company. The plan for the I-485 project calls for state management of the roads.

Some officials also do not like the fact that the state's contract with the developer, I-77 Mobility Partners, contains a clause that could require the DOT to pay the firm compensation if it builds new free lanes on the highway during the next 50 years. That could hinder any future effort to widen I-77. On I-485, the DOT could decide to build additional free lanes, and wouldn't be charged a penalty.

I-77 Mobility Partners started construction on the I-77 toll lanes Monday.

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