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Rep. McIntyre opposes proposed I-95 tolls

By Hillary Akers
Around the Town Editor

April 19, 2012

Photo by Hillary Akers
Cars travel freely on I-95 where proposed tolls would require them to pay.
U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre signed on as co-sponsor of a bill recently introduced which asks Congress to block plans made by North Carolina's Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to charge tolls on Interstate 95.

U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers, who represents the state's 2nd District, introduced the bill.

The I-95 Corridor Planning and Finance Study, commissioned by the state, recommended that the most efficient and time-effective way to pay for the construction of the 182 miles of I-95 that go through North Carolina is charging tolls.

The state will be responsible for 10 percent of the funding for the project, which corresponds to approximately $440 million.

The state-commissioned study proposes a total of nine toll locations on the section of I-95 that is in North Carolina.

Two of the nine would be located in Robeson County. Travelers who would go through all nine tolls would pay about $20.

McIntyre opposed the bill, saying the tolls would impose an unfair tax. The tolls would be especially unfair to the North Carolina residents in the southeastern section of the state, he said.

According to McIntyre, the state has other means of paying for the construction.

He said the state should make better use of gasoline tax revenues, which have previously been used to pay for other programs that were not connected to transportation.

While the Federal Highway Administration has already given their provisional approval for the plans, NCDOT officials must wait for approval from the federal government before implementing the tolls.

According to the study, the construction would include widening of lanes for 50 miles, from mile-marker 31 to 81, to eight lanes and from mile-marker 20-31 to six lanes.

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