Gov. Pat McCrory has told local transportation leaders to either approve or vote against a transportation plan that includes the Interstate 77 toll lanes.
In a letter sent Monday, McCrory asked members of the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization to reaffirm their support for the controversial plan or “set in motion the necessary steps to create a new regional transportation plan.”
CRTPO has taken numerous votes in favor of the toll lanes. But opposition to the project has continued, even after the developer, I-77 Mobility Partners, started construction last month.
McCrory’s letter appears to be an attempt to settle the issue.
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The letter contained warnings. McCrory wrote that stopping the project would have “significant ramifications.” Construction has started on the project, and the state has said it could have to pay a penalty of up to $100 million if it canceled the contract.
CRTPO meets Jan. 20.
Mecklenburg County and some towns along I-77 have opposed the project, but the city of Charlotte is the key vote on the organization. Charlotte has a weighted vote worth 31 of the 68 votes.
The city’s CRTPO representative, Vi Lyles, has taken votes in the past that supported the toll lanes.
Lyles said Monday night that a city transportation committee is reviewing toll lane projects, including I-77, and will meet Jan. 4. After that, Lyles said the full City Council will vote to direct her vote.
Council members haven’t before taken a specific vote on the I-77 project.