Yes, say a lot of peeved southern Wake residents. They envy northern Wake's tax-paid, toll-free 540 Outer Loop.
They aren't looking forward to having the Triangle Expressway, North Carolina's first modern toll road, an extension of the Outer Loop, running through their part of the Triangle:
Why would the people utilizing the southern portion of 540 be required to pay tolls, when the people who have been utilizing the finished portion have not, and will not have to in the future? ... Wouldn't it be more efficient to add tolls now to the finished part and start collecting now instead of waiting until the new portion is finished? - Barb Hartsfield
Who can blame them? But they won't be alone for long. TriEx is our first toll road, but we have more toll roads on the way.
Federal law does allow tolls on existing, federal tax-financed freeways, but only in limited circumstances.
As it happens, the Federal Highway Administration has given permission for two exceptions in North Carolina: a 2-mile section of NC 540, which will become part of TriEx (stitching together what otherwise would have been two separate toll roads, the Triangle Parkway and the Western Wake Freeway); and I-95, where North Carolina is considering collecting tolls to finance a widening and major overhaul job.
Meanwhile, a shortage in roadbuilding money means that Congress will be tempted to make it easier in the future for other states to collect tolls on old interstates.
A warning about that National Journal blog debate: It's awfully dry stuff. You can tell right away that none of these people live in Apex.