Politics & Government

Lawmakers try again to kill I-77 toll contract

Tricia Cotham
Tricia Cotham

Three Mecklenburg County lawmakers are trying to cancel the Interstate 77 toll contract during this week’s special legislative session, though they appear to face an uphill battle.

Democratic Rep. Tricia Cotham and Republican Reps. John Bradford and Justin Moore introduced a bill Wednesday to cancel the contract with I-77 Mobility Partners, a subsidiary of the Spanish firm Cintra. The company is building the 26-mile, $650 million project from uptown Charlotte to Mooresville.

Opponents have long criticized the project. Earlier legislative attempts to kill it have failed.

“The leadership at the General Assembly once again has the opportunity to cancel this ‘bad deal’ of a contract,” Cotham said Thursday. “This toll road contract is bad for taxpayers and will burden North Carolina for many years. We should support small businesses, families and those going to work everyday by canceling this project once and for all. We should listen to the people.”

Toll opponents in north Mecklenburg claimed credit for costing Republican Gov. Pat McCrory more than 20,000 votes in last month’s election. Thee governor lost to Democrat Roy Cooper by just over 10,000 votes.

The toll bill is not yet scheduled to be heard in this week’s special session. Cotham said that doesn’t mean it won’t be added before lawmakers adjourn.

Jim Morrill: 704-358-5059, @jimmorrill