The latest effort to stop the Interstate 77 tolls appears headed for another dead end, the N.C. Senate’s top Republican suggested Wednesday.
Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger responded to a question about a Mecklenburg County lawmaker’s proposal to stop the I-77 toll project.
Rep. Charles Jeter said Thursday he plans to introduce a bill next week calling on the transportation department to cancel the state’s contract with the road builder, I-77 Mobility Partners. The General Assembly starts its short session Monday.
Jeter, a Huntersville Republican, pledged in January to introduce such legislation if the regional transportation board voted to go ahead with the contract, which it did.
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He and other lawmakers made several unsuccessful attempts in the last year to cancel the toll contract.
Jeter said I-77 Mobility sold 39.9 percent share to investors for $25 million. He said that means the cost of breaking the contract would be around $63 million, far less than the up to $300 million some have projected.
A spokeswoman for I-77 Mobility Partners confirmed the shares sold, but she declined to say how much they sold for.
Berger, a Republican from Rockingham County, told reporters he hadn’t seen Jeter’s proposal. But he didn’t seem inclined to support it.
“The I-77 issue has been around for a while,” he said. “I think we’ve gone pretty far down the road on that. I don’t see the need for any significant changes. … I have not seen any information that would lead me to believe that stopping the project is the right thing to do.”