Governor says any financial solution to the I-77 toll project will have to be shared

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Governor Roy Cooper says making alterations to the I-77 toll lane project at this point will cost money and he said the state will not carry that burden alone.

Cooper was talking about a consultant’s report on the controversial project.

The report recommends options including one that would have the state buy out the contract and either abolish tolls altogether or keep one toll lane and use the other as a free, general purpose lane.

“Its going to cost money whatever the solution that we do. That is going to require a community solution and a state solution,” Cooper said during a visit this week to Charlotte.

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Cooper said he was also concerned that an incident on a new toll road outside of Washington, DC this week could happen here.

The toll price on a new express lane on I-66 topped out one night at $40. The night before the high was $34.

There has never been a firm cost mentioned for toll lanes once the I-77 project is completed.

“One of the things that I have been concerned about with the I-77 toll road is the cost to consumers and the lack of control of costs that were in the original negotiated contract," said Cooper. 

Cooper added that contract should never have been signed.

The State DOT is still holding fact-finding meeting on the consultant’s report and has not set a date for when a decision will be made on what, if anything to do.