The Cornelius Transportation Advisory Board will hold a special meeting Thursday night to discuss the plans for high-occupancy toll lanes on I-77 north of Charlotte. Meanwhile, the toll-lanes issue also is the subject of a meeting Jan. 14 called by a new anti-toll group called Widen I-77.
State Department of Transportation planners have proposed using high-occupancy toll lanes, or HOT lanes, as a way to help finance the badly needed widening of I-77 north of Charlotte. Officials say that charging tolls and partnering with a private company to build and operate the toll lanes will allow I-77 to be widened as much as 20 years ahead of the state’s current construction schedule.
Drivers would be able to pay a toll to use express lanes to and from Charlotte. State and regional officials are completing work on a Request for Proposals that would be sent to potential bidders, and bids could be received by March.
But opponents including Widen I-77 have emerged to fight the toll plan. They say the area deserves to have the highway widened using state funds now.
At the Jan. 14 meeting, Widen I-77 members will present their research into “the negative impact the state’s plan will have on the area’s congestion, business climate and quality of life,” according to an announcement. “The presentation will be from a resident’s point of view and promises to be a significant departure from prior presentations made by government agencies.”
I-77 TOLL PLAN MEETINGS
THURSDAY, JAN. 3, 6-8pm, Room 204, Cornelius Town Hall, 21445 Catawba Ave., Cornelius – Cornelius Transportation Advisory Board special meeting, to discuss I-77 HOT lanes. Info: cornelius.org
Read more about the issue in our Dec. 5, 2012, article “As toll plans advance, HOT lanes are a hot topic”
Here’s the text of an announcement by the Widen I-77 group:
I-77: An Imminent Calamity
Why the State’s Plan Fails Residents And What You Can Do About It Now
CORNELIUS, Dec. 30, 2012 – Widen I-77, a recently formed citizen’s group, invites the general public, elected officials and the media to a presentation and discussion of the state’s current plan for widening I-77 through the Lake Nor- man area using HOT, or high occupancy toll lanes.
This stretch of Interstate 77 has never been widened since its construction in the 1970’s despite a tenfold increase in the area’s population. It remains the only stretch of interstate in Mecklenburg County that is four lanes and is among the most congested roads in North Carolina.
The group will present the results of their independent fact-finding with regards to the negative impact the state’s plan will have on the area’s congestion, business climate and quality of life. The presentation will be from a resident’s point of view and promises to be a significant departure from prior presentations made by government agencies.