The Latest:1 toll lane on I-77 to be converted to free lane

August 15, 2018 - 3:04 pm

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on toll lanes for Interstate 77 (all times local):

3:05 p.m.

The N.C. Department of Transportation is backing a recommendation to convert one of the two proposed toll lanes for Interstate 77 near Charlotte into a free, general purpose lane.

News outlets report Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon said Wednesday the department is also recommending the contract be renegotiated with better terms for drivers, frequent user discounts and allowing medium size trucks use of express lanes capacity.

The recommendations were presented during a meeting of the I-77 Express Lanes Local Advisory Group. A majority of the group recommended the measure endorsed by Trogdon in a vote during its last meeting in May.

Trogdon said buying out the contract with the company building the expanded road isn't feasible this year or next year.

The toll zone is expected to open by the end of the year, but it's not known if the recommended changes will affect the project.

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12:48 a.m.

North Carolina's transportation secretary is scheduled to outline the state's latest plans for the Interstate 77 toll lanes.

The Charlotte Observer reports NCDOT Secretary Jim Trogdon is set to speak Wednesday at the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce. Trogdon will speak about options for changing the two toll lanes from Charlotte to Mooresville, which are under construction and could open as early as this year.

Ten of the 12 members of a local advisory group agreed in May to recommend the state make one lane free. Trogdon told the advisory group the state would look at different ways to finance possible changes.

Public criticism of the project impacted the 2016 gubernatorial race in which Republican incumbent Pat McCrory narrowly lost to Democrat Roy Cooper, who criticized the toll lane contract.

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Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com

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