Critics of Interstate 77 toll lanes could renew their efforts in Charlotte and Raleigh this week.
On Wednesday night, members of the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization are scheduled to vote on a 10-year construction plan. Its defeat would delay the planned construction of new I-77 toll lanes and could lead to negotiations that would end the project.
Meanwhile, the House Rules committee could consider a draft bill that would terminate the state’s contract with the company that would build the toll lanes. To pay the cancellation fee, which could be $100 million, it would withhold sales tax revenues from Mecklenburg County and the towns of Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville and Mooresville.
According to the draft bill, the governing board of the towns passed resolutions “requesting the delay or termination of the construction” of the toll lanes.
Davidson’s resolution didn’t specifically call for the contract to be scrapped. Instead it supported efforts by Sen. Jeff Tarte and Rep. John Bradford to “find legislative options” to widen the interstate.
And without specifically calling for a contract delay or termination, Huntersville officials passed a resolution that supported Tarte’s effort to draft a bill that would address the cost of a delay.
“Our resolution merely asked Sen. Tarte to keep us apprised of what he would be doing,” Mayor Jill Swain said Monday.
With little support in the Senate Transportation Committee, Tarte’s bill has yet to get a hearing.
At this point, few expect the toll contract to be scrapped either by the N.C. Department of Transportation or by the General Assembly.