View NC tolls for I-95 in a larger map
The state Department of Transportation says it will spend six months and $1.6 million to assess the economic impacts of its proposal to pay for a $4.4 billion widening and overhaul of Interstate 95 by collecting tolls from drivers. (See 2/12/12 story with map and photos.)
"This study is in response to the people and businesses of North Carolina and their concerns voiced during the first stage of our study process,” said Roberto Canales, a DOT engineer overseeing the I-95 effort. “We want to make the right decisions for the citizens of North Carolina as we move forward.”
It also is in response to orders from legislators.
After the DOT tolling proposal was attacked by truckers, local drivers and local, state and national politicians from Lumberton to Washington, the General Assembly this year ordered DOT to conduct a new study that would consider:
(1) The economic impact of tolling the present road on the residents and businesses along the Interstate 95 corridor.
(2) The impact of tolling the present road on the alternative routes to Interstate 95, including expected increased traffic on those routes, any safety issues created by any increased traffic on those routes, and expected travel time delays for drivers using the alternative routes.
(3) New or existing alternative routes for Interstate 95.
(4) Options for funding to make critical repairs and lane mile expansions to Interstate 95 without the use of tolls.
Cambridge Systematics of Atlanta will spend six months on the study. The General Assembly wants to receive the results by March 1.