Politics & Government

Group trying to stop I-77 toll lanes seeks lawsuit delay

A group seeking to stop toll lanes on I-77 has asked for a delay in its lawsuit.
A group seeking to stop toll lanes on I-77 has asked for a delay in its lawsuit.

The group that has sued to stop toll lanes on Interstate 77 said it has asked to delay a hearing scheduled for Friday.

The group, Widen I-77, said it wants to wait for a Charlotte City Council vote scheduled for Monday on the issue, as well as a vote by a regional planning group later this month.

Kurt Naas, a spokesman for the group, said the lawsuit isn’t being dropped. He said the group wants the political process to “play out” before the lawsuit moves forward.

Widen I-77 said it filed a motion to stay Wednesday.

“We aren’t dropping the lawsuit,” he said.

Naas said the group feels confident that it can get a majority of council members Monday to vote against the toll lanes Monday.

Gov. Pat McCrory has asked the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization to vote Jan. 20 on whether it supports the current transportation plan, which includes toll lanes for I-77.

The city of Charlotte has 46 percent of the vote on CRTPO.

City Council will vote Monday on how to direct its CRTPO member, Vi Lyles, on how to vote.

If council members direct Lyles to support the toll lanes, it would almost certainly pass. If they direct her to reject the lanes, they would likely fail.

Construction has started on the toll lanes, from uptown to Mooresville. Motorists can pay to use the lanes or stay in the existing general purpose lanes, which will remain free.

Mecklenburg commissioners voted 8-1 Tuesday to direct its voting member on CRTPO to vote against toll lanes.

Steve Harrison: 704-358-5160, @Sharrison_Obs

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